This is not the document you are looking for? Use the search form below to find more!

Report home > Others

Give Qatar a Chance

3.20 (15 votes)
Document Description
This is a descirption
File Details
  • Added: November, 22nd 2013
  • Reads: 12263
  • Downloads: 283
  • File size: 186.78kb
  • Pages: 8
  • Tags: phil ball is a douchebag, qatar, world cup
  • content preview
Submitter
  • Username: mdoggie
  • Name: mdoggie
  • Documents: 1
Embed Code:

Add New Comment




Related Documents

Edward N. Luttwak, “Give War a Chance,” Foreign Affairs

by: chuck99876, 9 pages

Edward N. Luttwak, “Give War a Chance,” Foreign Affairs Vol. 78 no. 4 (July/August 1999): 36-44 GUISD Case Study #241: “The Dutch in Srebrenica: A Noble Mission Fails,” 26

Give me a Lightning

by: Nate Ford, 4 pages

Story from RPG about Missy and Nate

Watch movie The Note II: Taking a Chance on Love download free

by: fadheela, 1 pages

CLICK HERE or on IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD MOVIE

Watch movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs download free

by: armonia, 1 pages

CLICK HERE or on IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD MOVIE

Qatar - a location where new businesses will be able to grow

by: crocusbutton37, 2 pages

Qatar - a place where new businesses can bloom Even though many of the world’s major nations seem...

Shahina Aftab Foundation--- A chance at life

by: abelardo, 21 pages

“A chance at life” Shahina Aftab FoundationEvery single minute, hundreds of women in Pakistan are denied the opportunity to health care, education, employment ...

HARNN USA Offers Fans a Chance to Win Big With First Ever Pin and Win Contest on Pinterest

by: Michelle, 1 pages

HARNN's Favorite Summer Beauty Rescues Pin and Win Contest gives HARNN fans a chance to celebrate their favorite HARNN products that fight the damaging effects of summer's heat and enters them to win ...

Lakeland Solar Trackers Give You A Better Chance For Green Living

by: James, 2 pages

Lakeland Solar Trackers can offer energy-saving solutions for customers in order to have a greener and safer living. They are geared towards in offering low maintenance and great long-term investment ...

Give our Constitution a chance

by: norman cabrera, 1 pages

JC de los Reyes, in his article, expresses his stand on efforts to amend the 1987 Philippine constitution.

Content Preview
Inside Doha: Give Qatar a chance to shine by Phil Ball - ESPN FC
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/worldcupcentral/id/1416?cc=5901
Sign In or Register
ESPN.CO.UK
ESPN.COM
ESPNDEPORTES.COM

ESPN FC BLOGS
ESPN FC United
The Match
Jozy Altidore
Kicking and Screaming
Relegation Zone
Monday Musings
Tactics and Analysis
Americans Abroad
La Liga
Bundesliga
Calcio Italiano
Champions League
The Toe Poke
The Boot Room
Fantasy Picks
Five Aside
The Scout's Notebook
On the Move
Football Africa
Futebol Brasil
Futbol Mexico
Soccer USA
US National Team
World Cup Central
ESPN FC TV
FC Reviews
The Football Writer
CLUB BLOGS
Premier League Clubs
Arsenal
Aston Villa
Cardiff City
Chelsea
Crystal Palace
Everton
Fulham
Hull City
Liverpool
Manchester City
Manchester United
Newcastle United
Norwich City
Southampton
Stoke City
Sunderland
1 of 8
11/22/2013 10:25 AM

Inside Doha: Give Qatar a chance to shine by Phil Ball - ESPN FC
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/worldcupcentral/id/1416?cc=5901
Swansea City
Tottenham
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
European Clubs
AC Milan
AS Roma
Barcelona
Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund
Inter Milan
Juventus
Paris Saint-Germain
Real Madrid
Mexican Clubs
Club America
Guadalajara
Nov 213:20PM EST
Inside Doha: Give Qatar a chance to shine
Posted by Phil Ball
Recommend279
Tweet11
Email
GettyImagesThe Doha Port Stadium as presented as part of Qatar's
successful bid.
DOHA, Qatar -- It's kind of difficult to write about Qatar 2022 at the moment because whatever you say, you'll annoy somebody. The issues are
so wide-ranging that if you focus only on the football, you'll be accused of political naivety. If you focus only on the workers' conditions and the
alleged corruption of FIFA officials, you'll get the bird from those who want a full analysis of the summer-winter debate.
Nevertheless, I'll have a go, given that I just got back from four days in the capital, Doha -- revisiting the country where I lived in 2009 -- as one
of a handful of journalists invited on an all-expenses paid trip to see the inner workings.
It's significant that the current witch hunt of the Qatar '22 project and everything that it involves has come from several Western journalists who
have never set foot in the country. It's not a necessary qualification for comment, but it helps. The investigative team that exposed the
systematic abuse of workers' rights deserves praise, but it's the subsequent fevered reaction from other less objective keyboards that has turned
the issue so sour, obscuring the potential advantages and positives that this event might spawn -- still a substantial eight years in the distance.
AssociatedSepp Blatter reveals Qatar as
the 2022 host nation.
2 of 8
11/22/2013 10:25 AM

Inside Doha: Give Qatar a chance to shine by Phil Ball - ESPN FC
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/worldcupcentral/id/1416?cc=5901
The feeling now in Doha, that you're at the centre of things, is quite extraordinary. The city hasn't changed much since 2009. Apart from the
amazing West Bay complex, which was still under construction when I left, it all looks pretty familiar. The traffic is still a disaster -- a product
of the previously organic urban planning, which the coming World Cup is about to change forever. The Metro, for which the ground has been
dug, is scheduled to open around 2019 and will change the traffic snare overnight. The cooled shopping malls still smell of soap and fresh
coriander, if you can get that. They're the life of Doha, an urban concept, built on a tiny desert peninsula that only a few fishermen and pearl
divers could previously be bothered to inhabit -- and we're talking about the 1940s.
It was only in the next decade that something resembling civic communities began to emerge. Tourists have never come here for the landscape,
however, and when they come for the World Cup, they're unlikely to be gawping at the country's small flat patch of desert either. (There are a
few dunes, but they're not great.) They're going to be looking at the country's whiz-bang urban aesthetic, because it is amazing.
I was in Doha for the Aspire4Sport Conference, now on its fourth edition since the date of the successful bid (Dec. 2, 2010). All the great and
good were here, and Qatar's almost limitless budget means it can invite anybody it wants, for the simple "domino" function of attracting the
media to an event where they can see the likes of Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Dennis Rodman and Alan Shearer in the flesh but also
listen to some serious stadium-based architectural discourse at the conference proper, where just about all the main companies were present, in
a corporate frenzy of talks, bids and networking.
This week, Sunday in fact, I was ushered into what looked like a stainless-steel portakabin, isolated over on the far side of the astonishing
Aspire sports complex. Once inside, I was shown into the room where the FIFA inspectors gathered to see the digital pitch of the 2022 bid
package. Qatar was the last of the candidates that they visited, which may or not be significant. The room seemed overly dark and almost bleak,
with a set of black soft armchairs arranged in serried rows. I sat right at the front, and the show began.
I was suddenly surrounded on three sides by the slickest, smoothest presentation I have ever seen. German-made, it was simply impeccable in
every aspect -- length, special effects, information, clarity, volume and political correctness. When it was turned off, I was overwhelmed by its
brilliance. O'Neal, Lennox Lewis and Shearer all said the same the next day, and its effectiveness (apparently the inspectors asked to see it
again, in a sort of childlike trance) probably won the bid there and then, not just for its technical brilliance but because you emerge from the
room convinced that if the Qataris can pull off what they claim they can pull off, then the cynics might eventually be put to rest.
Why bribe the officials if you know your sales pitch is the best? It makes no sense. The Harvard-educated Qataris at the head of this bid are
many things, but they are not stupid.
What you see is a bid that is not just the preparation of a sporting event, but the remodelling of an entire country, a small one maybe (11,000
square kilometers, about the size of Connecticut) but one that could certainly do with a face-lift.
Its desert is not particularly attractive, and there's no sense of Arabian nights stuff here. What you get is a certain urban aesthetic, built up
recently from a country that really began to develop any meaningful civic structures only after the discovery of oil in 1940. As a British
protectorate until 1971, things still went pretty slowly, but in the past 15 years, the place has begun to assert itself as a global player, largely
because of its natural gas reserves.
Some people seem to find this problematic -- a country-bumpkin state with a medieval absolutist monarchy system, putting on a World Cup?
What's going on?
Well, Qatar hosted the Asian Games (very smoothly) in 2006, but that's not really the main point. Why did it win the 2022 bid? Because FIFA
thought it would be a good idea to shift the World Cup from its largely Western-centric context? Probably not. The reason was simple and
seems to have been missed by a whole swathe of steaming Western keyboards. Once you see the video sales-pitch, you realise that this will be
the most outsourced event in human history.
The Qataris have neither the expertise nor the local manpower (only 250,000 of them, and few need to actually work) to carry out a project of
this dizzying reach, and so the entire $140 billion fest will be distributed among a wide-ranging set of suppliers, architects, engineers, builders,
transport companies (bus, boat, rail and air), advertisers -- you name it, they'll need it. Once you take this on board, the idea that backhanders
secured this World Cup appears even more absurd.
Geopolitical influence has determined the destinies of the next three World Cups, and that's about it. Brazil's growing GDP helped its bid, and a
certain footballing tradition (ahem), but the country's wealth distribution remains appalling and its school marks for the various ethical issues for
which the Qataris have been rumbled are equally poor, but just on a greater scale. Because we know about the favelas, we accept them as part
of Brazilian culture. Anything pertaining to Islamic culture, on the other hand, seems to be a problem for the anti-Qatar brigade. Russia too is
hardly a paragon of political and moral virtue. But it does have lots of natural gas.
World Cups didn't used to be the victims of such intense political and moral scrutiny, but times have changed. Football is a massive corporate
business, and as such, it looks to where the money is. It's not entirely wise, of course, and you could argue that it is absurd to award two rich
countries (Qatar and Russia) a tournament that will make them even richer. Why not wait until nearer the time and give the World Cup to a
poor country that needs the infrastructure that the investors would provide in return for the publicity and long-term benefits that they might
accrue from helping a poor nation to get off its knees? There's an idea for 2026, but it will take more than the occasional article to make it
happen. Meanwhile, it might be a good idea to get off Qatar's back and try to consider the interesting things that might come from this venture.
I talked about all this and more with Roberto Olabe, ex-goalkeeper and director of football for Real Sociedad, now working at Aspire with the
Qatari football academy. The idea is to get a decent local crop together for 2022, or even 2018. Olabe oversees the coaching and education of
3 of 8
11/22/2013 10:25 AM

Inside Doha: Give Qatar a chance to shine by Phil Ball - ESPN FC
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/worldcupcentral/id/1416?cc=5901
the academy kids along with Mikel Antia (also ex-Real Sociedad) and works from an office five yards away from Raul's.
OtherPhil meets Alan Shearer
in Doha.
The great man is actually there, door ajar, as I sit opposite Olabe in a plush armchair. He knows me from San Sebastian, Spain (where I live), but
I tell him that I worked on an educational project in Doha in 2009 and that the main problem was that the boys in the state schools (the sexes
are segregated) saw no reason to study or work, because the emir's law of providing every family with a decent stipend, regardless of
qualifications and achievements, made for a passive nation.
Was it the same problem for the footballers, all of them Qataris? Olabe nods.
"There's not much hunger here. That's what usually makes great footballers," he said. "Not many internationals in any country have come from
comfortable backgrounds. But we're working on it. There are other ways to motivate, and we have these kids here morning, evening and night."
The full-time academy boys are in the 12-18 age range, but Olabe admits that they've scouted kids as young as 6.
"Even at that age, if a kid's exceptional, it shows," he said. "We don't discount anyone."
Of course, money means they can afford to send the best two from each year group to Spain on training camps, with the possibility of playing
competitively in Spain's youth leagues. Valencia and Villarreal are two prominent hosts, and the list is growing.
Also, several top clubs (Bayern, PSG, Schalke) send squads to Doha for training periods due to the amazing facilities and mild-weather window
from October to March, and their youth teams also come to do sparring with the academy kids. I ask if there are any real gems in the treasure
chest.
"There's one in the under-16s [declining my request for the player's name], but there are enough to sustain the project -- enough to make me
feel we're not wasting our time," Olabe said.
I ask if he feels any pressure and if targets have been set. He has managed to survive two years there already.
"Of course there's pressure," he said. "But targets? Well -- I suppose there are some, but they haven't told me any. Win the World Cup in
Russia?" He grins rather alarmingly.
Qatar know they won't win the World Cup, but the scale of this operation suggests that they'll need to avoid losing face, a big thing in the Arab
world. In a sense, they're already seeing to this, making 2022 into a "conceptual" event if nothing else, and it can serve as a prototype for
various legacies.
Indeed, "legacy" is one of the buzzwords of the Aspire4Sport Conference. The conference is a fest of snazzy suits, big-name marquee media
slots and the world's top stadia architects and engineers. Some of them have already secured their contracts and seemed relaxed on stage, in a
slightly condescending sort of way, while others were doing the hard-sell. The latter was slightly undignified, but that's the way the world goes
round. The aforementioned stars talked affably about what it was like to play in grand arenas and were whisked back to their hotel by fleets of
limos.
Some of the architectural discourse was interesting, and some of it was cheesy and corporate, as if the whole shebang was going to take place
without a single hitch, conforming to their beautifully chosen phrases. There were some classics, among them the description of the Al-Wakrah
prototype stadium: "a carbon-neutral footprint in the sands of time."
The company behind this model scheme, the eponymous Zaha Hadid, a celebrated Anglo-Iraqi female architect, was particularly smooth,
floating phrases such as "vernacular architecture" (Al-Wakrah's shape is based on the Arab dhow), "community hub" and the slick description
4 of 8
11/22/2013 10:25 AM

Inside Doha: Give Qatar a chance to shine by Phil Ball - ESPN FC
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/worldcupcentral/id/1416?cc=5901
of the air-cooled "precincts" that were to be built around the stadia as "an overflow from the public realm into the commercial realm." Right on!
We'll leave the jokes about it looking like female genitalia to other journalists, who couldn't be bothered to do their research properly (not even
realising Hadid is a woman).
It's too easy to be cynical (and that's without seeing some of the worst affected areas in the country). The Al-Wakrah project, which basically
involves converting a fishing village south of Doha into the first template stadium community (it should be completed by 2017), contains all the
components to make this a rather different experience, so that the "spectator realm" can be enjoyed "comfortably, economically and
sustainably." I'll go for that.
The 40,000-capacity stadium will be reduced to 20,000 post-event by disassembling the upper tier and sending it off to some developing nation
-- the international legacy. Meanwhile, the Al-Wakrah club and transformed community get a rather nice stadium to use, the local legacy.
It's all pretty neat, and one can only hope that Qatar can really make local use of these facilities and perhaps allow a wider range of its
expatriate work force to avail this stuff. They are building nine new stadia and remodelling three. The metro system will connect them all,
meaning the first "compact" World Cup.
OtherAl Arabi versus Al Rayyan was not taken in by many locals.
In Brazil, if you want to travel from south to north for a game, it's going to require an eight-hour flight, with all the accompanying expense and
hassle involved. In 2022, you can get to see two live games on a single day, at a solar-powered 26 degrees Celsius. Sounds good to me.
Workers' rights? The Guardian investigative team did get that one right, for which it deserves various medals. At the news conferences I
attended, especially the one following the Amnesty report that came out Sunday, the Qatari front men took it on the chin.
"We are a young nation. We're learning too." There were no lame excuses proffered. They said they would put it right. The new workers'
charter, rather hastily assembled, is a step in that direction, but the systematic abuse of workers' rights has not been an active Qatari policy.
They've just looked the other way, which is just as bad, but they have the power and money to fix it almost overnight. There is no congress, no
bureaucracy. At the swish of the emir's gold pen, new laws come into effect.
They were there anyway, but the foreign middle men just ignored them, largely because they were able to. The Qataris are not malicious people,
but the civic maturity of the nation is at best adolescent. One thing is a new futuristic concept, another is to see through the entire process
ethically. It's not as easy as it looks, and Qatar is hardly the only country with these problems. It's just more under the spotlight.
The World Cup will be played there, and probably in the summer. The cooling system, already in place at Al-Sadd's stadium, will work.
Alcohol? You can drink in many of the hotels, and a prominent American beer is one of the main sponsors. But why should 2022 be considered
a venue for a Western drinking-fest? The first World Cup in a Muslim country invites consideration about other people's values, whether we like
them or not. Hospitality is the greatest virtue of the Muslim world, but the host-guest relationship needs to be 50-50 -- a fact recognised by the
Qataris, as opposed to many of their critics. Why worry about the availability of alcohol? A month on water and fruit juice might even improve
some folks' health.
It's an ambitious project, and it deserves to be given a chance. If it succeeds, the template might just make a contribution to the future. If it fails,
then like Shelley's Ozymandias, the "colossal wreck" will be eroded down the centuries by the desert sands as a tribute to human folly. The
anti-Qatar brigade would like nothing less. I say give them a chance. The only way is up from here.
Recommend279
Tweet11
Email
SPONSORED HEADLINES
5 of 8
11/22/2013 10:25 AM

Inside Doha: Give Qatar a chance to shine by Phil Ball - ESPN FC
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/worldcupcentral/id/1416?cc=5901
Sponsored links from Outbrain [?]
Comments
Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may
be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.
6 of 8
11/22/2013 10:25 AM

Inside Doha: Give Qatar a chance to shine by Phil Ball - ESPN FC
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/worldcupcentral/id/1416?cc=5901
73 comments

Add a comment
Rysiu Markowski * Monash University
i think the key point in this article is that the author was "invited on an
all-expenses paid trip to see the inner workings".
Reply *
*
12 Like * 14 hours ago
Troy Stanton * Works at N.A.S.A.
I'm a big fan of yours Phil because you write from the heart. This
piece doesn't read that way.
Reply *
*
7 Like * 16 hours ago
David Kelaher
I kind off switched off after reading "al -expenses paid trip".
Reply *
*
6 Like * 10 hours ago
Nicky English *
Top Commenter * Notre Dame College
How about we let them stop kil ing workers first. Huh?
Phil Ball's paid off.
Reply *
*
6 Like * 14 hours ago
Sriram Palamadai *
Top Commenter * Works at
Independent
I total y hate you.. You stole my thoughts and comment..
Reply *
*
1 Like * 13 hours ago
Nakadai Okuyama *
Top Commenter
This article is pure, 100%, unadulterated sh*t. "Why should 2022 be
considered a venue for a Western drinking-fest?" What a myopic,
biased view of the partying aspect of the WC. We Koreans are
bigger drinkers than almost anyone on the planet--save maybe the
Russians--and we aren't Westerners, Ball. When I and my Korean
col eagues descend upon Brasil next summer, we wil exit the airport
and head straight for the nearest watering hole. The WC is a
massive, undulating, bacchanalian party that cannot be restricted to
"many of the hotels," Bal , and whether you like it or not, alcohol and
public inebriation are inherently tied to the WC experience. Take
away the party, which is as big or bigger than the footie itself, and the
WC loses half of its allure. "Consideration for other people's values.."
Give me a break. You don't schedule a Playboy Playmate reunion in
Saudi Arabia, and you don't send the world's biggest party to Qatar.
Ball, you're a smal -brained-bought-off-Qatari-shil -journalist-wan
nabe. Get off your keyboard and back in bed with your sheik.
Reply *
*
5 Like * 6 hours ago
Tsaed Kidza *
Top Commenter * Johannesburg,
Gauteng
What a roar! even a lion would be scared, man!
Reply * Like * 5 hours ago
Mason Hayat *
Top Commenter * Owner/CEO at Hayat
Media Consultants
Check the comment above. TWISTED LIE
Reply * Like * 5 hours ago
Phil Hasenkamp *
Top Commenter * Iowa State
University
99.999% of the world wil be watching it on T.V. so your
concern is not valid or wel stated.
Reply *
*
2 Like * 5 hours ago
View 1 more
Snagglepuss Pinktail
This was the most blatantly apologist pulp I have ever read...ESPN
should be absolutely ashamed for publishing this garbage. The
penultimate paragraph is cringe-worthy: "A month on water and fruit
juice might even improve some folks' health." Are you bloody kidding?
Also, what bubble are you in that you (and 'Septic Bladder') are
completely ignoring the question of gay World Cup fans?
Reply *
*
5 Like * 14 hours ago
Phil Ball *
Top Commenter * San Sebastian, Pais Vasco,
Spain
7 of 8
11/22/2013 10:25 AM

Inside Doha: Give Qatar a chance to shine by Phil Ball - ESPN FC
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/worldcupcentral/id/1416?cc=5901
About the Author
Phil Ball
Phil Ball has been writing for ESPN since 2002, and has written more than 400 articles for the site. He is the author of the best-selling Morbo:
The story of Spanish football
, and also wrote White Storm, the English-language book to celebrate Real Madrid's centenary which has been
translated into various languages. He has lived in the north of Spain since 1991, and despite various rumours to the contrary, supports only two
teams, Grimsby Town and Real Sociedad. Follow him on twitter @philballtweets.
NEWS & FEATURES
WATCH
FIXTURES & RESULTS
EPL
ENGLAND
USA
MEXICO
UCL
EUROPE
GLOBAL
WORLD CUP
FANTASY
Blog Index
ESPN FC: Help | Press | Sales Media Kit | Interest-Based Ads | Patents | Report a Bug | Contact Us | Site Map | Jobs at ESPN | Supplier
Information
(c)2013 ESPN Internet Ventures. Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy and Safety Information/Your California Privacy Rights are applicable to you.
All rights reserved.
8 of 8
11/22/2013 10:25 AM

Download
Give Qatar a Chance

 

 

Your download will begin in a moment.
If it doesn't, click here to try again.

Share Give Qatar a Chance to:

Insert your wordpress URL:

example:

http://myblog.wordpress.com/
or
http://myblog.com/

Share Give Qatar a Chance as:

From:

To:

Share Give Qatar a Chance.

Enter two words as shown below. If you cannot read the words, click the refresh icon.

loading

Share Give Qatar a Chance as:

Copy html code above and paste to your web page.

loading