QATAR BIDS FOR 2022 CUP
That is the confident catch phrase for Qatar in it's bid to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup, which would be the first-ever in the Middle East.
The Arab country, with a population smaller than that of Soweto and eighty percent of whom are foreigners, faces stiff competition from Australia, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States who are also bidding.
The Qatar football authorities under the presidency of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani and bid chief executive Hassan al-Tawadi, believe their most serious threat would be Australia who have also not hosted the World Cup before. Some of the countries bidding for 2022, are also doing so for the 2018 edition like Russia.
Japan and South Korea co-hosted the 2002 instalment and that may rule them out as they co-hosted not so long ago.
The countries in the race for the 2018 and 2022 events all submitted their bid books at Fifa headquarters in Zurich on May 14. The Fifa executive committee will vote on December 2 to decide the winners of both bids.
Bid chairperson Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani in handing over the 20kg bid book said: "We have presented Fifa with a bid book that combines breakthrough technologies with a plan to share them with the developing world."
And after addressing a group of African journalists on Qatar's aspirations and plans for the event, director of communications Nasser Al Khater believes they have a strong case to be awarded the rights to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
Thus they added to the catch-phrase "Expect Amazing" that "It's a must!"
Fears of hot and humid temperatures, non-availability of alcohol as well as the region's conservative dress code were quickly dispelled by Khater.
"Specially for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, we will create dedicated fan zones where alcohol will of course be available. And, like any country, we Qataris appreciate it if tourists dress sensibly when out and about. But by the hotel pool people will wear what they always wear: swim wear," Khater said.
"The Qatar 2022 bid includes cooling technologies for the stadiums, training facilities and fan zones ..."
Why? As hosts they would also naturally welcome Israel as one of the contenders should that country qualify for that event. Aah! the power of the beautiful game and what it can do to even the worst of enemies.