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A brief summary of the trillions of reasons Qatar should not host the World Cup

Posted by Jesse Singal  December 2, 2010 01:14 PM

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(Update: Garrett Quinn has a good, comprehensive rundown of the intrigue surrounding this story over at his blog.)

The FIFA Executive Committee has tallied up the bribes votes, and Russia and Qatar will be hosting the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Yes, Qatar, a tiny nation known primarily for its oil wealth, poor treatment of women, and 106-degree daily high temperature in the summer (don't worry, it's a dry heat). It would be hard to overstate all of the problems with Qatar's bid. (James Downie at TNR has a good rundown.) But here's a start:

-Qatar has pledged $50 billion worth of infrastructure investment in advance of the World Cup, part of which will go toward building 12 new stadiums around the capital city of Doha. Doha, it turns out, does not need 12 soccer stadiums during times in which it is not hosting the largest soccer tournament on the planet. So Qatar claims it will disassemble the stadiums after the tournament and use the materials to rebuild them in developing nations. (It will then give everyone in those nations unicorns.)

-Qatar has sleazily bought up aging stars like Zinedine Zidane and Gabriel Batistuta to shill for the country's bid.

-As I mentioned, Qatar is not a particularly cold place. To combat the difficulties this would pose during a World Cup, the Wall Street Journal reports, the nation will be building "high-tech, outdoor air conditioning system to assuage the summer temperatures that can reach 120 degrees during the day." During World Cups, host nations get flooded with fans who spend a fair amount of time milling around outside. One could argue that a nation in need of "outdoor air conditioning" isn't the best choice of venue.

-"The thumb-shaped Qatar peninsula," says the Lonely Planet, "is not exactly one of the world's major tourist destinations... Around the Gulf, Doha has earned the unenviable reputation of being the dullest place on earth." On the other hand, "Just thirty minutes from Bahrain!"

But fair is fair. Qatar was able to come up with the most compelling bribes bid, so to the victor goes the spoils.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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