Football from around the world

  My name is Roy Ferris and I live in Qatar, in the Middle East. I'm born and bred in North West London I'm a lifelong QPR supporter. I still manage to get to three or four games a season. Football in Qatar is obviously very different to our usual home fayre. As hosts of the 2022 World Cup they have a lot to do to understand the needs to host such an event.  


Qatar 2022 - A World Cup dream too far?

As a resident of Qatar for almost four years I am a regular spectator at local football matches. For the majority of the Qatari population, football is the only sport there is (thankfully not soccer). The Qatar Stars League currently has twelve sides, adorned by mainly foreign players from all over the world, many now naturalized Qataris. The league was recently given a boost by the signing of Spanish living legend Raul to the Al Saad club.
My latest jaunt into the world of football in Qatar was the recent World Cup Qualifier between Qatar and Uzbekistan. The 3.30pm kick-off ensured that the temperature was in the high 90's at the neat and compact Khalifa Stadium. A steady stream of supporters were ushered into the ground by the small contingent of police and security staff. Admission was free and children were given a lunch pack, a typical token of Qatari generosity.This was unfortunately complemented with a typical token of Qatari stupidity, as the pack contained a banana for each child. The prospect of four thousand discarded banana skins around the terraces was not obviously considered to be a problem in the unfortunate event of an emergency.
The sight of pristine white dishdashes around the ground contrasted the usual sight of club colours and scarves while the rhythmic drumming and prayer like chanting replaced the usual torrent of abuse from a passionate home support.
A poor start by the home side was compounded by the Uzbek's opening goal.  Groans echoed around the stadium as the hosts displayed an alarming lack of imagination in their football.  A water break midway through the half was essential, it was also the opportunity for a fully dishdashed member of the Royal Family to confront the players on the pitch to vent his anger at their performance ( I can't see Prince Charles doing that!! )
The second half saw much of the same, bananas, cakes and coke were consumed with much more urgency than the Qatari attacks.  Local tradesmen sold packs of post it notes, which were thrown onto the pitch by bored youngsters.  The highlight of the second half was when a Qatari player was injured and a golf buggy was deployed to carry him from the pitch.
A poor 1-0 defeat left Qatar's World Cup 2012 qualification in doubt, though how many of the eleven thousand crowd realised this was debateable.
As the new Porsches, gleaming Ferraris and Land Cruisers left the ground to the setting sun and "call for prayer" it became apparent that riches can in fact buy anything (including major sporting events)  A country with no grasp of human rights, security or any sort of work ethic has no right to host football's elite event.  Yet, in todays footballing world money talks. 
Unless a magic wand is waved in this part of the world in the next 10 years the World Cup will be a disaster, though I do hope I'm wrong.
Just be reassured that a certain Mr S.Blatter will be enjoying each and every pass, shot and save in the 115 degree heat, as he reviews his pension fund.
Qatar 2022  World Cup - If Tesco Economy Lager did World Cups..................