GoThe 2022 World Cup takes us to Qatar, the party capital of the Arabian world – not quite. Imagine a stag party organised by Phil Neville accompanied by 10 other Phil Neville’s. Sadly, our favourite football festival is getting hijacked. A few brown envelopes were exchanged between Sepp Blatter and the sheiks of Qatar, resulting in some inevitable party pooper tweaks.
Winter World Cup
For the first-time ever FIFA have changed the season of the quadrennial tournament from summer to winter due to climate conditions. The event is now set to be staged from mid-November to mid-December 2022. In Doha, Qatar, the temperatures often reach 50C during the summer, but don’t think your pasty Irish skin will be spared as the average temperature in November is still 29C. Say farewell to those World Cup beer garden sessions, it’s hard to embrace football fever in the cold pissy month of November while the greatest players in the world try play football in the desert.
Laws and Culture
Qatar’s culture is significantly influenced by Islam. While alcohol is not strictly illegal in Qatar, consumption and sales are restricted. Foreign nationals living in the country can apply for licenses allowing them to drink, and hotels are allowed to serve alcohol. It is, however, illegal to be intoxicated outdoors. There will be no alcohol consumption allowed on the streets, squares and public places. Buzz kill.
“We’re on holidays, a few cans will surely do no harm, sure we’re Irish?” Flogging and stoning are legal forms of punishment in Qatar due to Sharia law. Enjoy your Pepsi lads.
Woman’s rights in Qatar wouldn’t be the best, the salary gap equality mightn’t concern you but woman are asked to dress conservatively, so if you’re looking for fashion tips try go for the Irish nun circa 1930’s look and you’ll be grand.
Its reported that Nepalese migrants involved in constructing infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup died at a rate of one every two days by 2015. Living and working conditions for some migrants in Qatar are appalling. Long hours in the blazing heat, low pay and shabby dormitories, are a daily ordeal for thousands – and they cannot leave without an exit visa. To make matters even more sickening, nearly all the facilities being constructed will never be used again.
Official game times have yet to be announced, however 1am kick-offs have been proposed to avoid the sun. This would mean a 10pm start for Ireland which probably works out better than the daytime kick-offs of Brazil in 2014.
That concludes our guide to the 2022 Qatar World Cup, but first, let’s try make it back the continent alive from Euro 2020.
By Ciarán Cunningham, 19/02/2019