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Sometimes Blinding Prospects Blind You From Proper Choices

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Also known as, sometimes there is a logic behind the voters on FIFA that isn't just explained by corruption, bribery.

It could just be that they are seeing something in the prospects of the hosting that overshadow the humble, but certainly successful other bids. We actually saw that here in 1988. The United States was sparkly, and amazing. We were something new, and different. We represented a new, emerging soccer future. We pledged a sanctioned top-flight league. There were millions of people that would see soccer for the first time.

Qatar is sparkly like that too. Its promised stadiums are out of sci-fi movies, stadiums that come apart and create dozens of stadiums around the world. Ours would have been 15 or more years old.

But Qatar 2022 is certainly not about its own tiny, but extraordinarily rich state. It is certainly not about its human rights, press freedom, religious strictures.

Qatar represents more than that, or less

It represents hope, and potential and prospects not just for a nation. But for a region, and possibly a religion's acceptance or love of sport. And the numbers behind that are as sparkly as any youth prospect that a GM promotes early, transfers for, or just plain wants in their team's system. In any sport we have seen the potential celebrated and the consistently great ignored.

And maybe we just saw that. Because the numbers are pretty damn good when you look at them a little differently.



GDP (ppp)

Per Cap

Arab World










Mid East





Those are some pretty big numbers. The bet that's being placed is that Qatar is spending more money than any other bid on soccer infrastructure (they do need it).  But if the bet pays off and changes any of those three regions love for soccer the way that 1994 helped the USA then it was a right choice, though not my preferred choice.

If you doubt that pan-Arab nationlism will be in effect, you just aren't reading enough from that part of the world.

And in the case of the World Cup, I think that as an Arab I am beholden to say this: what Qatar has achieved is good for all of us. It will trickle down in one good way or another to you and me and everyone in the Middle East. It doesn't matter whether or not Qatar itself has intended it to be like that. But by empowering itself it has empowered Arabs. By acquiring a voice and a stand among nations it has given them one.

While there might have been the payoffs that we'll never discover, there are also the very public payoffs that fuel the dreams of legacy.

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