The 2022 World Cup Finals was shaking up to be pretty creepy. FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, which is only slightly less corrupt than Las Vegas circa 1958, awarded the games to Qatar. This is a country significantly smaller in size than Hawaii with a population roughly equivalent to that of greater Indianapolis; it averages June and July temperatures over 100 degrees, and its soccer team (which will receive an automatic bid) is not very good. But, they promised that all FIFA members would be eligible, even those countries with whom it severed diplomatic ties after Operation Cast Lead (hint: I’m referring to Israel), so all seemed okay.
Now comes news that the chief architect behind the $140 billion (not a typo) plan to hold the World Cup in Qatar ten years—we’re talking a dozen air-conditioned outdoor stadiums (and perhaps extremely harsh penalties for vuvuzela-blowing?)—is Albert Speer, Jr. As in, his father was Albert Speer. (It’s not clear whether his firm will be involved in the actual construction.)
Which, look, the guy isn’t his father, and actually by all accounts is good and talented. I suppose it’s progress to go from planning to redesign Berlin for Hitler on the model of the Roman Forum to planning to build the most expensive sandcastles ever. Still: wow!
The Desert Dreams of German Architect Albert Speer [Der Spiegel]
Earlier: Because Nothing Says ‘Soccer’ Like ‘Qatar’