November 10, 2020

The Bid - Making History

Winning the chance to bring the world together in 2022.

Whether you are watching the FIFA Football World Cup 2022 from a stadium in Qatar, or on a television screen somewhere else in the world, during the Winter of 2022, you will be making history. For the first time since the inaugural FIFA World Cup tournament in 1930, almost a century ago, the games will be hosted in the Middle East. Fans from across the globe will be introduced to the Arab world, their culture, history, traditions and hospitality. East and west will come together, for many for the first time, in support of their greatest passion - football.
When the 2022 Football World Cup kicks off, fans from across the globe will converge on Qatar to be part of the greatest sporting event in the world. Millions more spectators will be glued to their television screens, watching as Qatar hosts 31 other nations as part of this sporting extravaganza. The eyes of the world will be on Qatar and by association the Middle East.
Traditionally, there has been a long-standing divide between the Middle East and the West. Though, in more recent times, many logistical barriers between East and West have fallen, and continue to fall. Modern transport links and technological advances in communication mean that East and West are closer than ever in terms of travel, transportation, tourism and business. However, cultural differences, political tensions and religious distinctions continue to keep a notable distance between the two. To diminish the distance between us, our differences need to be understood and celebrated, and opportunities for shared endeavours created. Could the World Cup bring about a greater understanding and unity between the Arab and the western worlds? Qatar and FIFA certainly hope so.

The Bid

When Qatar registered its bid for the 2022 Football World Cup in 2009, they weren’t the first country in the Middle East to have attempted to win the hosting rights. Before Qatar, both Egypt and Morocco bid unsuccessfully for the games. However, on the 2nd of December 2010, Qatar was the first Middle Eastern country in history to win its World Cup bid and claim victory for the Arab world.

Beginning on the 16th March 2009, Qatar set out to show the world that the Middle East deserved to host the 2022 World Cup. Their campaign was very clear from the start, the bid was, of course, for the glory of the game, but their overarching aim was to better the world’s understanding of the Middle East - using football as a platform for change.
In their bid for the tournament, Qatar asked for the chance to bring the world together. By offering people a chance to see the region’s natural beauty, the richness of Arab culture, the positivity and warmth of its people, their passion for football, and their aspirations for the future; Qatar could shed a positive light on the Middle East and start building bridges between East and West towards a more peaceful and prosperous future.

Indeed, hosting the games in the Middle East for the first time could improve relations between the Arab nations and the rest of the world, creating countless worldwide social and economic development opportunities - one of the many reasons why their bid was successful.

For the Game; For the World

Qatar’s bid for the FIFA 2022 World Cup was successful not only for their vision of unity but for many other reasons as well, including:

  • Their passion for the game and their previous, successful experience in hosting international sporting events.
  • The benefits to fans, teams, FIFA and the environment of having a concentration of event facilities and venues within a radius of less than 60 km.
  • Their commitment to a carbon-neutral World Cup - predominantly through the use of innovative cooling technologies and renewable energy sources.
  • Their comprehensive proposals to deliver cross-country infrastructure (including a new world-class airport, metro and light-rail system) in time for the tournament.
  • Their innovative and pioneering stadium designs and training grounds.
  • Their first-rate medical facilities and commitment to the safety and security of fans and visitors.

However, their commitment to football development and the positive changes that they could influence through football was also, undoubtedly, a heavy hitter in FIFA’s decision-making process.
Qatar’s bid for the 2022 games took FIFA’s well-known slogan, ‘For the Game; For the World’, and made it their own. A World Cup in the Arab world would not only reap a host of rewards for both east and west with the new relationships developed but would also provide Qatar with an opportunity to:

  • Bring the tournament to a new generation of Arab fans;
  • Create development opportunities throughout the region to ultimately improve lives.
  • Through football support initiatives, boost communities of non-elite footballers, such as women, children, and those who are disadvantaged or have special needs, - both at home and away.
  • Leave a global legacy of improved lives and opportunities - event facilities and venues, such as the football Stadiums, will be transformed after the final whistle into living areas, and leisure and sporting facilities, improving the lives of local communities. Further afield, the modular elements to the football stadiums and training grounds will be donated to create sporting facilities for impoverished communities.

Qatar’s dedication to developing football and creating change through football is closely aligned to FIFA’s overall ethos - use the power of ‘the game’, not only for enjoyment but to improve lives, create economic opportunities and improve world health. Qatar’s win and their subsequent hosting of the FIFA Football World Cup in 2022, will not only make history and work towards uniting us but will leave a legacy that will benefit us all - east, west and everything in between.

Learn more about the 2022 World Cup legacy, read our Leaving a Legacy article.

Out of Interest...

The Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy are the body responsible for managing and delivering the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. They are tasked with ensuring that the tournament preparations, delivery and legacy are aligned with the country’s National Vision*, and for guaranteeing that the tournament and all its elements are delivered on time and in line with the nations and world’s expectations.

National Vision 2030
, is a development framework that informs Qatar’s strategies and plans to advance the country’s economy, protect the environment, and boost social and human development.

Main image: EQRoy/

Published: December 13, 2019
Last updated: November 10, 2020
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