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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world