Qatar has reportedly invested approximately $220 billion, debatably much more, to stage this mega-event. It’s a record that soars above the sums spent on previous editions that now appear ridiculously cheap.
However, Nearer the action, issues with FIFA’s ticketing application—launched just a month before the event—have left some match-goers temporarily stuck outside stadiums after kickoff. While a functioning digital system is more streamlined and can help fend off fake passes, it’s more prone to technical faults. Such logistical hiccups are difficult to understand given the time Qatar and FIFA have had to ensure no problems.
Considering the widespread well-wishes hosts tend to receive, it’s similarly lamentable that Qatar’s players became the first to exit the tournament. In truth, the fanfare behind the nation seemed to die out feebly inside impressive stadiums costing considerable money and labour to construct—a result that doesn’t sit right. After all the buildup and pressure, there is a sense that Qatar’s squad was overwhelmed. Now it hopes its guests can deliver the goods it couldn’t.
One plus, you can argue, is having the event in a small country. Midway through a competitive season, most players will want to base themselves in one place and avoid plane travel. In this case, getting around is more straightforward for everyone involved, including the broadcasters projecting the show across the globe.