Obama: FIFA should have given us the 2022 World Cup instead of Qatar

posted at 5:43 pm on December 2, 2010 by Allahpundit

Er, no, they shouldn’t have, although of course Obama’s answer was the smart one politically. For starters, soccer was, is, and always will be a lost cause here. FIFA’s better off stirring up interest in the Muslim world, where they might get some marginal return in fan attention, instead of wasting another tourney on our market. Beyond that, it’ll be high-larious watching soccer fanatics try to cope with 110 degree heat and shari’a law that makes alcohol scarce and shorts and t-shirts “inappropriate” attire — even for men. (Russia, which was awarded the 2018 Cup today, promises pretty much the opposite problems.) That’s assuming, of course, that Qatar still has those regulations in place by 2022. The great hope, as is always the case when a repressive regime hosts a major sports event, is that the promise of tourism revenue and global media attention will lead them to liberalize. Tunku Varadarajan wishes upon a star:

Most significantly, this is the first time that the world has entrusted a global event to a Muslim, Arab country, and it was moving to see Qatar’s charming young crown prince choke up with emotion as he gave his thanks for the vote of confidence. There can hardly have been an onlooker who would not have wanted to go up to the young man and shake his hand.

I believe that the Qatar World Cup will be a most effective weapon against al Qaeda and the forces of Islamist darkness. Arab society has seen the world embrace it in a truly global enterprise, and will, I believe, rise to the challenge—a challenge that includes not merely effective organization, but a transformation of traditional ways into cosmopolitan ones. Qatar will play host to tens of thousands of fans from around the world—men and women who will expect to sit together, women who will expect total equality and the right to dress as they please, fans who will want—and not expect to be denied—a drink…Fans who will have no truck with religious police, modesty police, or killjoys of any kind. And if Israel qualifies, Qatar will not be able to deny it the right to play, for the first time, on Arab soil. Think of that.

All this could be electrifying and transformative—the 2022 World Cup could, without exaggeration, bring about a cultural revolution.

Could be, although China’s a culture in need of a little revolutionizin’ too and the Beijing Olympics haven’t seemed to make much of a dent. There’s also a question, as there was with the South Africa Cup, of whether spending billions on soccer is the best investment a third-world country can make. Probably not an issue in this particular case, though: Thanks to black gold, Qatar boasts the second highest per capita income of any nation on earth and is promising to spend upwards of $50 billion(!) on infrastructure if need be to make things run smoothly. They’re also vowing to share the wealth with poorer countries — sort of:

Central to their bid was a revolutionary cooling system that would use solar power to provide zero-carbon air conditioning to cool the stadiums, technology that has the potential to transform the lives of tens of millions living near the equator.

And it is the legacy that a Middle Eastern World Cup could bring that has arguably persuaded FIFA to take a risk on Qatar. After the tournament, Qatar has promised to dismantle the modular stadiums and rebuild them in third world countries who can’t afford their own.

We’ll see. For your viewing pleasure below, a recent highlight of the Qatari team in action. Don’t expect the host nation to be hoisting the Cup in 2022, even with 12 years to prepare. Exit question: Is a country with a total population of around a million people really equipped to host an event like this? Said Eric Wynalda, a former U.S. team player, “a successful World Cup would mean the attendance would be twice the population.”


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Comment pages: 1 2

Again…and IED’s and burkas.

Caper29 on December 2, 2010 at 7:04 PM

Hapless feckless == Obama.

No Olympics
No world cup
We are gonna loose the NFL, NBA before this clown is deposed.

But we don’t need “teh ghey ball” here any way.

esnap on December 2, 2010 at 7:07 PM

His name was everywhere, or so I thought.

JetBoy on December 2, 2010 at 6:13 PM

You thought wrong.

ladyingray on December 2, 2010 at 7:09 PM

We’ve got a sport that where the rules and playing is almost exactly the same. It’s called hockey and it’t damn exciting!

Tommy_G on December 2, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Hockey isn’t our sport. It’s Canada’s, and it sucks.

Our sport is football.

misterpeasea on December 2, 2010 at 6:03 PM

I’m not a huge fan of soccer: My favourite is Hockey, followed by basketball, followed by soccer, followed by baseball, followed by rugby, followed by football, followed by curling…

I find the problem with soccer the same as with baseball and football: if you don’t care about the teams, the game can be tedious to watch. But if you have any kind of emotional investment, then the game becomes very suspenseful. Hockey, of course, is usually more exciting for the casual viewers.

What I hate about football is the way the game is broken up: it seems like they spend 5 minutes in a huddle discussing the next play, then play for 5 seconds, then get back into another cuddle to discuss the next play for about a half hour. And you guys say soccer is dull!

Johnny 100 Pesos on December 2, 2010 at 7:12 PM

No way. It’s the biggest youth sport around. … Just because it’s not huge at the professional level doesn’t mean much.

reaganaut on December 2, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Agreed, and the pro sport is growing quickly. Adding Vancouver and Portland to MLS next season will create a lot of buzz around the long-standing huge Pacific NW rivalries, we have tons of hispanic youth, and overall we have more soccer playing youth than any other country in the world.

Our last world cup shattered attendance and revenue records. They made the wrong choice. That said… there is already talk about Qatat (or even Brasil 2014) not being able to pull it off and the US being called in at the last minute to host it… we’re a turn-key operation up here.

DaveS on December 2, 2010 at 7:18 PM

This does not peg my WHOGARA meter.

Dingbat63 on December 2, 2010 at 7:18 PM

Sorry: WHOGABRA meter

Dingbat63 on December 2, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Soccer sucks, and I’m still hopeful that the world will start liking us more eventually in the “Age of Obama”.

OxyCon on December 2, 2010 at 7:22 PM

“and it was moving to see Qatar’s charming young crown prince choke up with emotion as he gave his thanks for the vote of confidence.”

Oh yes. NO JEWS FOR YOU.

Israeli are not allowed into this Islamic slave state.

Oh, and they they treat the Indian/Paki “guest workers” like TOTAL SHIT.

Jack Bauer on December 2, 2010 at 7:27 PM

Soccer is ice hockey on a grass field with a mobile blue line……and without the “ehhs”.

dthorny on December 2, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Except that hockey actually contains awesomeness.

-Flopping is a penalty in hockey, whereas it’s encouraged by FIFA.

-The offsides rule in hockey actually makes sense.

-The fighting in hockey is between players, not fans.

-The NHL has the best trophy of any sport.

Ha We on December 2, 2010 at 7:30 PM

No way. It’s the biggest youth sport around.

reaganaut on December 2, 2010 at 6:12 PM

It’s been the biggest youth sport around since I was a kid 25 years ago. Having spent plenty of time in Qatar I can understand why it would be chosen as the first Arab country. It is the poor Europeans’ (middle class) Dubai. You can go to the mall downtown and see a local woman in a burka hanging out with her friends in miniskirts. They will import the help they need from south Asia and will probably do it well. They did a excellent job with the Asian games a few years ago (most events at night).

FIFA will never pick the US for political reasons that the One will not be able to fix no matter what his followers think. Qatar also has a decent economy where if the Dems get their way we will look like Greece by 2022.

cobrakai99 on December 2, 2010 at 7:35 PM

As a consolation, Qatar has agreed to send the U.S. a full soccer stadium’s worth of militant jihadists.

Obama initially was concerned that the arrival of so many welcome individuals would swamp the State Department with visa applications and the like, but he was relieved when spokesmen for the jihadists offered to enter the U.S. by way of moonless-night crossings of the Rio Grande along the nation’s open southern border.

FlameWarrior on December 2, 2010 at 7:35 PM

I’m just glad they’re not having the world bowl in the United States. I’d rather all of the hooligans stayed the heck out.

FloatingRock on December 2, 2010 at 7:48 PM

DaveS on December 2, 2010 at 7:18 PM

Yeah!!..Them and the WNBA will be vying for that choice ‘Tuesday Afternoon ‘Game’ of the Week’ on ESPN 8 any day now.

Feel the excitement!!!

BigWyo on December 2, 2010 at 7:59 PM

For starters, soccer was, is, and always will be a lost cause here. FIFA’s better off stirring up interest in the Muslim world, where they might get some marginal return in fan attention, instead of wasting another tourney on our market.

AP, as one of the few resident futbol fanatics here, I’m ‘shocked-shocked-shocked!’ by this statement of yours. For starters, 1994 was the only year every game sold out. USA’s World Cup hosting was the most profitable FIFA has had, and it was by far the most successful. Just because you don’t like the game and the commentariat have no use for it doesn’t mean that there isn’t massive fan attention. Other than trolling your own audience that clearly hates the game, not sure what the purpose is to dog it.

I was disappointed we didn’t get the ’22 Cup, but not surprised after seeing the Albert Speer designs for Qatar’s five unbuilt stadia, its relaxation of alcohol consumption, and its (dubious imo) claim it will allow Israel to participate should it actually make the Cup.

In the meantime, who’s ready for some Women’s World Cup this summer?!?

/not me

elcapt on December 2, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Landon Donovan became a household name.

JetBoy on December 2, 2010 at 6:03 PM

Who? Not a household name!

silvernana on December 2, 2010 at 8:40 PM

I’d rather all of the hooligans stayed the heck out.

Meh. We have 20 million+ already.

At least these “hooligans” spend money in US hotels, bars and liquor stores … then they leave.

reaganaut on December 2, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Also, I don’t but this first Muslim country thing. If they wanted to do that then England (Londonistan) would have won over Russia.

::rimshot::

reaganaut on December 2, 2010 at 8:46 PM

The reason soccer hasn’t caught on is that it’s basically a track meet with a ball bouncing around.

Bishop on December 2, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Please don’t disparage track by comparing it to soccer. My granddaughters are top level state track distance runners, and their training routine would kill soccer players.

silvernana on December 2, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Most significantly, this is the first time that the world has entrusted a global event to a Muslim, Arab country,

This may be the first time the world has entrusted the World Cup to a Muslim, Arab country, but it is not the first time the world has entrusted a global event to a Muslim, Arab country.

Formula One has been racing in the UAE since 2009 and MotoGP has been racing in Qatar since 2004.

rukiddingme on December 2, 2010 at 8:58 PM

What is this “soccer” that you speak of…?

Seven Percent Solution on December 2, 2010 at 9:23 PM

2 huge tennis tournaments there already…remember the flap when the Israeli players wasn’t allowed to play in Dubai?

SouthernGent on December 2, 2010 at 9:25 PM

You’re wrong about Football (Soccer) in the US. My husband is English. Last Saturday we went to a birthday party in Slower Lower, Delaware. He spent an hour talking Football with an 11 year-old American boy who loves soccer and plays it every day. This boy knew all the major international players. He showed me the video games he uses to get better on his own skills. He even knew about “El Classico” (the game played by Barcelona and Real Madrid on Monday).

This is not an usual experience. We regularly go to the local school grounds to watch the kids and their families. Soccer is growing in the US in a BIG way.

ukgoods on December 2, 2010 at 9:31 PM

The stadiums and infrastructure will never materialize. By 2020 they will have 2 stadiums along with some rail and roads built. The US will step in at the last minute as replacements. This is just a naked attempt to bleed some cash out of the Arab world.

Rocks on December 2, 2010 at 9:39 PM

I think Qatar is a good idea. The US hosted it already. Why not give other countries the chance to host? Every year there are 32 counties in the tournament. Why should it be the same 6 or 7 countries hosting each time?

And Qatar is not Iran.

angryed on December 2, 2010 at 9:56 PM

This may be the first time the world has entrusted the World Cup to a Muslim, Arab country, but it is not the first time the world has entrusted a global event to a Muslim, Arab country.

Formula One has been racing in the UAE since 2009 and MotoGP has been racing in Qatar since 2004.

rukiddingme on December 2, 2010 at 8:58 PM

And the Dubai Classic is a PGA stop that has been going on for several years.

angryed on December 2, 2010 at 9:58 PM

They hate The US on the field, so they will hate us off as well. Let the world have their little-girl sport and we can have hockey, a much more exciting version of the same game. Football would be cool if it werent for the No Fun League.

I tune out of soccer when the players flop so obviously, and they draw the penalty, and the refs know it, so they have to call some other BS penalty to make up for it.

Greek Fire on December 2, 2010 at 10:07 PM

A bunch of Europeans and South Americans kicking each other in the shins in 120 degree heat with no booze and all the women wearing niqabs.

I’m booking my tickets and hotel right away!

forest on December 2, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Eh, by 2022, Europeans will be ruled by their Muslim masters and living under shariah law, so they’ll be used to the no-alcohol/covered-women gig.

CJ on December 2, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Yeah, I cared about this for about 10 seconds…then remembered that I’m going to the Big 12 Championship this weekend. (GO HUSKERS!) Much more important.

KellyBomelly on December 2, 2010 at 11:14 PM

I’m glad this didn’t come to the US.

I don’t want my taxes going to pay for this horrible sport. Let some third world country host the favorite sport of third world countries.

Vegi on December 2, 2010 at 11:27 PM

FIFA? Soccer?….who cares, its a 3rd world sport…..oh wait, by 2022 the US will be a 3rd world country. Soooo, let me revise: Oh DARN!

JeffVader on December 2, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Obama: FIFA should have given us the 2022 World Cup instead of Qatar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIobG64KKe4

bayview on December 3, 2010 at 1:52 AM

I believe that the Qatar World Cup will be a most effective weapon against al Qaeda and the forces of Islamist darkness.

I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.

maverick muse on December 3, 2010 at 7:27 AM

bayview, that’s goooood.

maverick muse on December 3, 2010 at 7:28 AM

Oh goodie, another “let’s all dump on soccer” thread. Yeah, I missed them over the last 4 months.

MJBrutus on December 3, 2010 at 8:01 AM

The reason soccer hasn’t caught on is that it’s basically a track meet with a ball bouncing around.

Bishop on December 2, 2010 at 6:17 PM

If soccer was easy they’d call it baseball

Trafalgar on December 3, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Funny thing…

When it comes to politics, I can count on the intelligence of HA posters. Even the ones I disagree with come up with good arguments.

But change the topic to soccer, and the collective IQ of HA goes down the drain. People start acting like 2 year olds throwing mud and calling names.

Wait, did I just throw mud? oops. :-)

BierManVA on December 3, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Soccer is for the kids who couldn’t make the football team.

Alden Pyle on December 3, 2010 at 9:07 AM

I don’t want my taxes going to pay for this horrible sport. Let some third world country host the favorite sport of third world countries.

Qatar has the highest GDP per-capita in the world.

Small, yes. Third world? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Go take a look at the Doha skyline on wikipedia and tell me if that looks poor to you.

triple on December 3, 2010 at 9:15 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:West_Bay_Buildings.jpg

totally third world.. lol.

triple on December 3, 2010 at 9:16 AM

What?!? The United States didn’t get the nod to host the world commie ball…er…World Cup?!?

I…could…not…care…less.

Carl on December 3, 2010 at 10:08 AM

America does not and never will deserve to host FIFA again.

Smug Americans pis*ing on the world’s most popular sport is so tired.

Dave Rywall on December 3, 2010 at 10:14 AM

America does not and never will deserve to host FIFA again.

Smug Americans pis*ing on the world’s most popular sport is so tired.

Dave Rywall on December 3, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Smug internationalists trying to shove down the throats of Americans the world’s most boring sport. I am glad it has had a slow gain in the US. Sickening.

tessa on December 3, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Soccer makes golf look like a vist to Six Flags.

tessa on December 3, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Smug internationalists trying to shove down the throats of Americans the world’s most boring sport. I am glad it has had a slow gain in the US. Sickening.

tessa on December 3, 2010 at 12:32 PM
——-

Nobody is trying to shove anything down your throat because nobody gives a flying fu*k if you like soccer or not. Everyone’s simply tired of your baseless condemnation of a sport you don’t understand.

Dave Rywall on December 3, 2010 at 12:57 PM

America does not and never will deserve to host FIFA again.

Smug Americans pis*ing on the world’s most popular sport is so tired.

Dave Rywall on December 3, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Not nearly as tired as fans of the world’s most popular sport pissing on Americans for not caring about it.

L.N. Smithee on December 3, 2010 at 2:45 PM

For being the world’s most coveted championship trophy, the World Cup itself is unimpressive. It looks like a large Slurpee spray-painted gold and covered with glitter.

L.N. Smithee on December 3, 2010 at 2:47 PM

2 huge tennis tournaments there already…remember the flap when the Israeli players wasn’t allowed to play in Dubai?

SouthernGent on December 2, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Qatar is not the U.A.E.

Good for Qatar! If POTUS wanted us to get the bid, he should have gone HIMSELF!!

Khun Joe on December 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Whoever earlier wrote that baseball was easier than soccer has never had to try to hit a 95mph fastball thrown tight or snag a line drive at third base.

Carl on December 3, 2010 at 4:38 PM

After the 1999 Women’s World Cup soccer died. Never again was it sexy or exciting.

BHO Jonestown on December 3, 2010 at 4:56 PM

…and Billy Dee Williams was Landon Donovan in ‘Star Wars’.

BHO Jonestown on December 3, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Simon Henderson, The Baker Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Like Saudi Arabia, Qatar has a more conservative Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, though Henderson says that “Qatar has made more compromises with foreigners and is slightly more relaxed” than Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, Henderson likened Qatar to “a conservative town in the United States.

WhoTF is this Henderson person? Where is this conservative town in the US that is like Saudi Arabia? Jeez. What an a-hole. Has he ever been anywhere outside of his liberal bubble?

bitsy on December 5, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Watching the clip, doing my best Boomer impersonation…

“Doink! It hits the upright!”

Freelancer on December 6, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Good for Qatar! If POTUS wanted us to get the bid, he should have gone HIMSELF!!

Khun Joe on December 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM

That worked so well for the Olympic bid. And for the G20. And the Climate Conference. And…

Freelancer on December 6, 2010 at 9:35 PM

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