Build it, and they will come? Qatar is (literally) banking on that. Despite all the problems with their 2022 World Cup bid so far, and all the cries to strip the country of the event, they’re building an entire city from scratch, in the desert, to help host it. (See slideshow below).
Since Qatar won the bid, a total shitstorm of controversy, criticism, and even death has ensued. Let’s review:
The heat. The thermometer gets up to 120 degrees in the summer in that part of the world, and that’s when the World Cup is usually held. There are not only concerns about the health of the players, but a new study in the International Journal of Biometeorology says that it may be a big health risk for people to travel there and watch games. There’s talk of moving the event to the winter, but nothing has yet been decided.
Construction worker abuse. Not only have foreign workers reported that they haven’t been paid in a year, but some say that their papers have been taken and they’re trapped there. Oh, and 1,000 workers have already died during construction, according to some reports. FIFA is “monitoring” the situation.
Corruption. FIFA is also looking into charges that its members took bribes to approve the Qatar bid. (“I am shocked, SHOCKED to learn that there has been gambling on the premises.” “Your winnings, sir.” “Thank you.”).
Safety. ISIS has declared that it will bomb stadiums if the World Cup goes ahead in Qatar as planned. Odd, because this organization has been so low-key lately.
Human rights concerns. As you know, homosexuality is against the law in Qatar. Didn’t we just go through this in Russia?
But plans are going ahead anyway for a $25 billion city — called Lusail — which will contain several of the World Cup venues. Contained within will be Lusail Iconic Stadium, which will seat 85,000 and be surrounded by a moat.
The 28-square-mile city in the waterfront desert along the Persian Gulf will also have a commercial district, lagoon, four islands, two marinas, shopping mall, hospital, zoo, two golf courses and housing.
Let’s take the city tour:
READ: Despite Making $6 A Day, Qatar’s Exploited World Cup Workers Haven’t Been Paid In A Year [SportsGrid]