DOHA: Concerns surrounding the 2022 FIFA World Cup could soon be over following a landmark deal announced by the Qatari football authorities late last night.
Since the Gulf state first won the bid to host the football tournament in 2010, controversy has dogged the decision, largely due to the gas-rich sheikhdom’s high summer temperatures and the conditions of workers building the infrastructure. But amid talks of air-conditioned stadiums and plans to move the event to winter, Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organisers have unveiled what they say is “the perfect solution” to the situation.
“We are delighted to announce that the 2022 Qatar World Cup will be held in London, United Kingdom,” Hassan Abdulla al Thawadi, secretary general of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Supreme Committee, said at a press conference in Doha. “We’re confident that this decision will finally put to bed the concerns of football fans across the world and help ensure that the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup is the greatest footballing spectacle ever seen.”
Qatar currently owns roughly 42 per cent of the UK capital, with assets including The Shard tower, the Olympic Village and Harrods, alongside sizeable stakes in the London Stock Exchange, Barclay’s Bank, Sainsbury’s and the burger van at Spitalfields market. It is believed that with several more investments, the country will break the 50 per cent mark and London can officially be recognised as a Qatari city.
“It makes perfect sense,” said sports business analyst Rory Brannigans. “Rather than spending billions building an array of state-of-the-art air-conditioned stadiums that would ultimately lie dormant after the competition finished, Qatar can simply make a few further purchases in London, which it was no doubt going to do anyway.”
Organisers hope the move to London will solve previous misgivings regarding summer temperatures, alongside issues of alcohol consumption, public transport infrastructure and accommodation.
“Look how smoothly the Olympics ran last year,” said al Thawadi. “By moving the event to London, which already has the required facilities and experience, we can ensure the Qatar 2022 World Cup is just as successful, and a proud achievement for the people of Qatar.”