Qatar: 2022 promises World Cup like no other, with temperatures hitting 48C

Sepp Blatter is said to have a keen eye on his legacy when he finally relinquishes his hold on Fifa and he has certainly offered a remarkable first for the 2022 tournament. The first to be staged in the Middle East, and in a country where temperatures can touch 48C in the summer, it will be like no other.

The margin of victory for this small country that has little football history – they have never qualified for a World Cup finals and are ranked 113th in the world – came as a surprise. Having seen off Australia, who managed a single vote, Japan and Korea, they finally defeated the US by 14 votes to eight. "Thank you for believing in us," said Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. "Thank you for having such bold vision."

Qatar played the perfect campaign, with money no object. Zinedine Zidane, Sir Alex Ferguson and Pep Guardiola are three of a phalanx of global footballing names who gave their backing, but it was an Englishman who proved the dealmaker. Mike Lee, who helped London win the Olympics in 2012 and Rio the 2016 Games, worked his back-room magic for a third time.

Whether the world's best footballers will thank him for his efforts come 2022 is open to question. The bid has promised to install air-conditioning systems in all its 12 stadiums, nine of which will be new builds. They claim that the temperature inside grounds can be held at 27C, but that has been widely questioned. The final will be held in the 85,000 Lusail Stadium and the bid has also promised that some of the smaller grounds will be dismantled after the event and given to poorer nations.

Money is no object to Qatar. They spent on their bid and they will spend huge amounts on the tournament; £25bn is already earmarked to improve public transport.

Also in its favour is the small size – the smallest to host the finals – of the former British protectorate that pokes into the Gulf like a big toe testing the water. Supporters will be able to take in two games a day, and they will be able drink alcohol in specially designated fan zones but nowhere else.

"I think it was the wrong decision," the US President, Barack Obama, said last night, and while he could be accused of being an ungracious loser, there are many outside Fifa House who will agree with him.

Suggested Topics
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'