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Qatar: Jeers, Cheers as Country is Awarded 2022 World Cup

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Arts & Culture, Breaking News, Development, Sport
[1]

Qatar's World Cup delegation reacts to FIFA's announcement on Thursday (BBC screen grab)

Euphoria, disbelief, jeers and cheers filled the Internet following FIFA's announcement that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup.

In Qatar, a tiny, oil-rich desert country that beat out bids from the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia in hosting the football world cup, the mood was jubilant among expats and nationals alike.

On Twitter, Qataria78 [2]said:

I had tears in my eyes when they announced the 2022 will be held in Qatar , thats how proud I am to be a Qataria

osamaalassiry [3]said:

It will take some time to sink in : The FIFA world cup in 2022 is #Qatar2022

@rachelannmorris [4]said:

To all those (mainly in dubai) who told me I was nuts moving to #doha all those years ago…don't make me say “I told you so”

And on the popular social networking forum Qatar Living [5], congratulations poured in.

Commenter jack9999 said:

I'm on Annual Leave in India, but still could not stop myself from following the events second by second. Congratulations to one and all. I am throwing out a party to my friends over here.

memphis7 added:

The world's eyes will be on Qatar…this is the time to show how professional, well mannered, and disciplined all the while expressing the love for the sport of football, the citizens of qatar are.
Let this be somehow a bridge towards better understanding of the middle east, arab nations to the world and vice versa.
Congratulations…proud to be here on this historic announcement.

[6]

Fans celebrate following FIFA's announcement (Photo courtesy of Kyle McDonald)

Though most expats don't plan on living in Qatar during the 2022 World Cup, many reveled in the good news.

On Qatar Living, Ice Maiden said:

In 12 years, most of us won't even be here , but let's soak in the present moment

On Qatari Adventures [7], expat blogger Sybil Knox explained her elation:

I don't know why I'm so passionate about the cause, as surely I won't live there in 2022. Maybe it's just my compassion for the underdog that drives me to cheer for my “other” hometown, or maybe it's that I know that Qatar can deliver what it promises… I, for one, do Expect Amazing.

But not everyone had good things to say about FIFA's announcement.

At Hack the Bone [8], a former expat congratulates Qatar, and then it gives it a stern talking to.

Right now, there is no way Qatar could host the World Cup. The infrastructure simply isn’t there…
Luckily for FIFA, Doha is developing at an alarming rate, thanks to the thousands and thousands of Sri Lankans and Nepalese who are building the country from the ground up…
I can’t help but wonder where they’ll hide these modern slaves when the international press rolls into town.

Even Qataris have mixed feelings about hosting the World Cup. On Mimiz Blog [9], Mimi provides a breakdown of the arguments.

When I asked why do you support 2022? people said that it will change Qatar forever, bring more investments and develop the economy. It will put Qatar on the map side by side with greatest countries in the world. It will also force a change in Qataris’ traditional mindset towards more openness which is necessary for development.
Those who disagreed on the other hand argued that the 22 billion budget will be spent on foreigners while it could be better spent on local development and help improve the condition of poor Qataris. 2022 could infringe citizen’s rights rather than improve life quality. It has no benefits whatsoever for Qataris and will only lead to more loss of identity.

Many on the Tweetosphere expressed disbelief that Qatar beat out the US for the bid, painting the victory as David vs. Goliathesque.

@leiandroid [10]said:

It makes me smile knowing that a country people can't even locate won against… well, the US. Maybe it'll motivate people to grab an atlas

And @elizabethw723 [11] said:

The question on everyone's mind today: Why did America lose to that tiny, oil-rich Gulf country? http://ow.ly/3j4eE

Speaking of Twitter, Qatar's Twitterati finally got their wish for the nation to become a trending topic, but it was a bittersweet victory. Instead of #Qatar, #Quater and #Kattar made the list.
@toxic [12] said:

Today, Qatar got #worldcup2018. In the U.S. “Quatar” is a trending topic. Apparently, our spelling skills are about as good as our soccer.

In Doha, Ammar Mohammed listed [13] Qatar's achievements in hosting sporting activities:

غرب آسيا٢٠٠٥ …آسياد٢٠٠٦…كأس آسيا ٢٠١١.. كأس العالم ٢٠٢٢
#qatar2022 [14] تدل على تخطيط استراتيجي عميق ومدروس من قطر
West Asia Games [15] 2005, Asian Games [16] 2006, Asian Cup [17] 2011 and World Cup 2022 all show Qatar's strategic planning

Elsewhere in the Gulf, netizens are rejoicing.

Bahraini Yacoob Slaise tweeted [18]:

I'm looking forward to taking my 12 yr old son to Qatar and watch the World Cup and tell him “Dream Big and Work Hard, this is what you get”

Hala Al-Jurayed, from Saudi Arabia, congratulated [19] Qatar on its win:

ياقطر ألف مبروووووووووووووووك ،، الله عليكم قول وفعل ،، مره انبسطت ،، الحمد لله
Congratulations Qatar! You really did what you said you would do. I am so happy. Thanks God!

In another tweet, she noted [20]:

مره عجبوني قطر ومره عجبني إن قطر فازت ومره عجبني الإصرار والعمل شي مره حلو
I am impressed by Qatar and pleased that Qatar won. I admire their dedication and effort. This is something really nice.

And from Khobar, Saudi Arabia, @3abdulaziz said [21]:

In 2022 i'll be 47 he he he, maybe i'll be grumpy and won't like football then :-) #Qatar [22]

On the effort made by Qatar's Ruling Family to secure the bid, Mishaal Al Gergawi, from the UAE, remarked [23]:

One thing is clear: the Al Thanis are the Gulf's Medicis and Rockefellers in one.

Still in the UAE, Yasser Hareb suggested [24]:

Today should be declared as #Qatar [22]‘s new national day :)