I have spent the past 24 hours following the feedback from Twitterers all over the world regarding the Qatar bid and here is a sampling of some of the Tweets that I found:
-Is that oil I see dripping from the money stuffed in FIFA delegate's pockets?
-Can’t wait to see what happens when Israel qualify, as well as Budweiser the official world
cup beer's stance.
-With only 2 cities in the whole country, are fans expected to camp in the desert?
-The Qatar stadiums look awesome, but they have one fatal flaw: they're in Qatar.
-Ironically, we have been awarded the 2022 Oppressive Regime Against Women And
Homosexuals World Cup.
-And who will be building all these stadiums and roads in Qatar? No doubt workers imported from abroad, living 20 to a room and getting paid £25 a week. I guess slave labour is "carbon neutral" though.
-Has wikileaks got any dossiers on the abject failure of humanity who run FIFA?
-I hope the media attention for Qatar in 2022 will force them to deal with their rampant discrimination, human trafficking and slavery.
-Qatar: No stadiums, no history, unfavorable climate, no city of even 1m people, etc.
Everything about it is wrong except the oil money. WTF?
One player currently playing professionally in England tweeted:
Other opposition I found from fans voicing their opinions on the Internet include the following:
I understand FIFA trying to expand football in new regions, but my concern is for your general Joe Fan. Nothing to do with safety or heat, but what culture is in this place? What is there to see or do? I hate to bring up alcohol consumption but come on - where can a fella have a few points and a bit o' banter? Will good old fashioned singsongs be tolerated? Maybe the English, Dutch, Germans, Americans, Russians, Czechs, Irish (hopefully) can get by on fruit juice for a month.
Qater is, hot, boring, full of annoyingly rich people who have never worked a day in their lives. Westerners living in compounds. More heat. More foreign workers (slaves as you need permission from your employer to change jobs or even leave the country!)
"The thumb-shaped Qatar peninsula," warns the Lonely Planet guide "is not exactly one of the world's major tourist destinations." The chapter on the Qatari capital is even less enticing. "Around the Gulf, Doha has earned the unenviable reputation of being the dullest place on earth."
The following article from The Guardian explains Qatar's current stance on homosexuality and how Fifa's new "anti-discrimination taskforce" is trying to get the country to be more tolerant in hosting the World Cup.
Perhaps most disturbing of all was this on Twitter: No Asians allowed:Racism in Qatar Shopping in Doha via You Tube.
I was able to find some Tweets from folks happy about Qatar winning the World Cup bid:
-My country Qatar won the bid to have the world cup in 2022!!! I'm so proud to be from Qatar!!!
-Somewhere now in America: “Dude, where's Dubai?” “Dude, next to Qatar! Duh!” LOL
I then saw that someone had posted the actual Qatar presentation from Zurich which outlines the country's plan for the World Cup.
It's always good to look at both sides of a debate and I have to admit that the presentation looked pretty good and it's nice to see that people in that part of the world are happy and proud for their country. However, there is definitely some anti American sentiment being expressed as well. I then read this article which I feared would be the reaction due to the tense times we are living in. It paints Americans as entitled, ignorant as well as anti-Arab and anti-Muslim. While there are many people in the U.S. who think this way, the backlash that the Qatar bid is getting from soccer fans around the world has nothing to do with this and everything to do with soccer/football. Here are the Tweets I found that pretty much sum up my feelings:
-Where will Fifa go next for the WC, Greenland, the Galapagos Islands, the Maldives,
surely they all deserve a chance. Sepp Blatter you are ruining football.
-How can Fifa allow a country to host an event such as a world cup when they have never
even qualified for one? Does anyone think money has been used to get this one?
-Are they really going to play as host nation? They will be thrashed.
Here's the reason football fans are outraged, Qatar is a tiny country and will be the smallest ever to host the World Cup. There are more people living in my Manhattan neighborhood than live in the entire country of Qatar. They keep calling this a World Cup for the Middle East. If that's the case, why isn't it being held throughout the Middle East? The 2002 World Cup was co-hosted by two different nations with huge populations; Japan and Korea.
Also, every country that has ever hosted a World Cup has had their national team qualify for other World Cups. In other words, they have invested in their country's football development and earned the right to compete in the World's largest sporting event prior to hosting the tournament. No offense to Qatar, but they have never qualified for the World Cup. As the host country they get an automatic entry in to the tournament which means that a more deserving nation will miss the World Cup so that Qatar can get crushed in every game they play in. Brazil vs. Qatar would not make a highlight reel.
Nations that deserve to host the World Cup more than Qatar include: Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Trinidad and Tobago and even North Korea. Why?..because all of these countries have played in past World Cups having gone through the actual qualification process and winning the right to play.
In fact, more deserving countries in the Middle East include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates...all of which have had teams qualify for past World Cups.
As an American I would have loved to have the World Cup held here again, but I didn't think that was fair as it was just held here in 1994. For the same reason I felt that South Korea and Japan didn't deserve it as well. The country that really got hosed was Australia. They've qualified for World Cups in the past, there are many Australian born footballers playing in professional leagues arouund the world as well as at home in the A-League. The country has an amazing climate, a multi cultural population, beautiful cities, stadiums that are already built and most of all, they have never held the World Cup before. They've earned the right to host the World Cup. Qatar was pretty much just handed it.