The 2022 FIFA World Cup

Let me begin this morning with something that might damage my standing in the Congress of Curmudgeons where the maintenance of crankiness is central to one’s membership.  This was the lead item in Dwight Perry’s column, Sideline Chatter over the weekend:

“No kidding — Simone Biles got reverse-carded at the airport.

“The 4-foot-7 world-champion gymnast was mistaken for a child when she caught a flight home after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom this month.

“’The flight attendant (tried) to give me a coloring book when I board…” she wrote on Instagram. “I said, ‘No, I’m good, I’m 25.’

“’The other flight attendant gave me a mimosa, so we’re in the clear.”

“Even better, the pilot stuck the landing.”

I have seen Simone Biles in real life while transiting an airport; and I can indeed sympathize with the flight attendant who mistook her for a young girl; she really is that small.

Normally at this time of an even-numbered year where there are no Summer Olympic Games, we would be in the early stages of the FIFA World Cup Tournament.  Not so in 2022 because about 10 years ago when the venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was to be decided upon, Qatar used its abundance of petro-dollars to grease enough palms among the FIFA membership to land the games in Qatar.

It was only after the votes were counted – – and the bribes sequestered in safe havens – – that anyone bothered to sign onto to check out the typical conditions in Doha in July.  Let me just say that it is a good thing there are no games scheduled there for this week because the high temperatures are:

  • Monday – – 111 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tuesday – – 107 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Wednesday – – 102 degrees Fahrenheit (a cool front must have come through)
  • Thursday – – 105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Friday – – 108 degrees Fahrenheit
  • You get the idea …

[Aside: In case you were wondering, the highest temperature ever recorded in Doha was 122.7 degrees Fahrenheit in July 2010.  Now you know…]

The World Cup Tournament was put in Qatar based on bribery and there have been allegations made by various human rights advocates that the working conditions for the people building the stadium venues have bordered on slavery.  I have no insight into any of that sort of thing, but it provides yet another element of the landscape to make one wonder how anyone who did vote for this venue manages to sleep at night.  I know, they do so with the air conditioning running…

The World Cup Tournament will happen in November of 2022 when temperatures in the mid-80s are more the norm.  So, how are things going in preparations?  Here is data provided by

  • As of July 1, Qatar organizers report the sale of 1.8 million tickets for various games in the World Cup tournament.  There are 63 games in the World Cup Tournament involving teams from 32 countries.
  • Qatar citizens have purchased the largest number of tickets so far.  Surprisingly to me, the country whose citizens have bought the second largest number of tickets is Canada.
  • As of July 1, folks from the US have purchased the tenth largest number of tickets.
  • A total of 3 million tickets will be available for the games overall.
  • Organizers in Qatar project 1.2 million visitors will come to the country as a result of the World Cup Tournament.
  • Ticket prices range from $69 to $1600 depending on how late in the Tournament the game is and the seat preference.  [Aside:  Expect there to be an active after-market for tickets too…]
  • To limit ticket scalping, a fan can buy only 6 tickets per match and no more than 60 tickets for the entirety of the World Cup Tournament.

There could be one other “rub” with Qatar as the venue.  “Futbol” fans have been known to indulge in what we in the States call “adult beverages” before, during and after the fixtures.  Qatar is a Muslim country where alcohol is strictly controlled – – with an emphasis on the word “strictly”.  Here is the deal:

  • Inside the stadium venues will be alcohol-free.
  • Fans may have beer “on arrival” and/or after the game, but not in the stadium.  [Aside:  Remember that global brands of beer are major sponsors of FIFA events and of the World Cup tournament itself.]
  • Technically, consumption of alcohol in a public space is illegal in Qatar but plans are for beer to be available to fans in specific areas of Doha at restricted times during the day.
  • Visitors to Qatar may not bring alcohol into the country – – even from duty-free stores – – and there is only one liquor store in the country which can only sell alcohol to permanent residents of Qatar and only for home consumption.

Stand by … this might get interesting.

Finally, having spent sometime today pondering alcohol consumption issues, let me close with this definition of an alcoholic by the poet, Dylan Thomas:

“An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “The 2022 FIFA World Cup”

  1. 122.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Quick, give me that in Celsius.

    I visited Qatar and liked it. Nothing special about it, but the people were nice.

    It will be interesting to see what sharia law means against ticket-scalpers.

    1. TenaciousP:

      That would be 50.4 degrees Celsius. That would also be 323.5 degrees Kelvin.

      I have never been to Qatar. If I ever decide to go there, I will be sure not to have any alcohol in my checked luggage…

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