Today’s Guardian publishes an op-ed by Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Football Association, in which he contends that Qatar deserved to host the 2022 World Cup. It’s the sort of thing that begs you to scroll to the comments first, just to see the readers catalogue omissions and offer rebuttals, but let’s look at the substance of Al-Thani’s argument.
Qatar does not have a rich football history. We are a small country. Temperatures are high in the summer. However unfairly, our wealth alone fuels suspicions. But our bid succeeded not because these big questions were ignored but because we provided compelling answers. We turned each challenge to our advantage. We won because our bid was seen as the best.