The 2022 World Cup Finals will be held in sunny (sunny, sunny), Qatar. It is an, um, interesting call on the part of FIFA, the world’s soccer governing body (which also handed the 2018 World Cup Finals to Russia), given that Qatar is a Gulf country smaller than Connecticut whose national team has never qualified for the Finals and whose average June and July temperature is 106 degrees Fahrenheit. (They are planning to air-condition outdoor stadiums—no, really. Your oil money at work!) The decision might be said to confirm the impression that FIFA makes the NCAA look like a transparent, corruption-free organization. But of course, the real question is: What if Israel’s team—which, admittedly, has also never qualified for the Finals—manages to earn a berth in the 2022 Finals? Will Qatar, which suspended its ties with Israel during Operation Cast Lead, permit Israel to play?
Answer: Yes. As a condition of the bid, Qatar pledged to allow all FIFA teams to play (also to allow people to drink alcohol).
That’s good. Now if only Qatar could also improve its dismal record on women’s rights, then maybe in 2022 every decent person won’t feel obligated to boycott World Cup viewing.
After the jump: Qatar’s official bid video, which really has to be seen to be believed.