While most of England has been lamenting over their failure to win enough votes to be chosen as hosts for the 2018 World Cup, Qatar has been successful in their bid to host the World Cup in 2022.
Qatar will be the first Middle Eastern country to host the tournament, after they successfully defeated rival bids for the tournament from Australia, Japan and Korea, and in the second round of voting they defeated the United States, who were favourites to host the tournament, by fourteen votes to eight.
Situated in the Persian Gulf within the Middle East, Qatar covers approximately 11,437km2 or 4,416 Sq Miles, bordering Saudi Arabia to the South and the country has a population of approximately 1.5 million people.
In football terms Qatar are ranked 113th in the world and have never qualified for a World Cup Finals. They have appeared in several Asian Cup tournaments and have won the Gulf Cup twice. The closest they came to reaching a World Cup Finals was in 1998 when they narrowly missed out when they lost to Saudi Arabia in the qualifying rounds.
One of the main concerns for teams competing in the competition is the extreme temperatures the country experiences, with temperatures often reaching 40 degrees centigrade, especially during the months of June and July, the moths the competition usually takes place. The Qatar bid committee have provided assurances that the proposed stadiums will have integrated cooling systems that will reduce temperatures to 20 degrees for both players and fans. Cooling systems will also be used for training areas and other areas populated by fans.
As an Islamic state the consumption of alcohol in public is prohibited, but an agreement has been made which will allow the sale and consumption of alcohol in designated areas for the duration of the competition, which many visiting fans will find reassuring.
While Qatar does not recognise Israel as a state, it would allow them to participate in the World Cup should they qualify for the Finals.
There is no doubt that Qatar can afford the World Cup, being a wealthy country due to its large oil and natural gas reserves, this will provide reassurances that the infrastructure will be of the highest standards for the World Cup finals. As a tourist resort, Qatar is rapidly developing and currently has around one million visitors a year, the country is equipped with top class hotels and facilities.
Qatar proposes to build nine new stadiums for the host cities. The 86,000-seat Lusail Stadium, which is yet to be built, will host the opening match and the final.