Qatar Win World Cup 2022 Bid: Special Report
December 2, 2010
Qatar have been awarded the chance to host the FIFA World Cup 2022. The result will shock many after the bid has been criticised in the past including rumours of collusion with the Spain/Portugal result. The financial power behind the bid and support from countless stars and footballing icons, notably Zinedine Zidane will have helped the bid. The team said that FIFA will be “proud of us, and proud of the Middle East”. The decision comes after a fantastic, stand-out presentation despite fears of issues with the soaring climate.
With five nations still vying to win the bid for the 2022 World Cup finals, representatives from each made their final presentations to the FIFA ExCo on Wednesday 1 December. Australia, Qatar, USA, Korea and Japan were all hoping to get the decision.
The Australian bid team were first to present in an underwhelming and unconvincing manner. An animated kangaroo stole the show from super model Elle McPherson and Westfield billionaire Frank Lowy.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard made a speech via video link which may not have impressed much of the FIFA ExCo in a low key presentation. The team were joined by Australia’s governor-general Quentin Bryce and FAA chief executive Ben Buckley.
Bryce said: “The Australian Government has issued every guarantee Fifa has sought, without amendments or variations.”
The bid was also supported by the likes of Tim Cahill and Hugh Jackman before the final video saw an animated kangaroo steal the World Cup trophy from Zurich and travel across Australia.
South Korea were next up to present their case focusing their bid tightly around unification of the North and South.
An impressive presentation was made filled with style and content through competent speeches and well produced video presentations. The presentation was made efficiently in English which took away some of the passion which can be portrayed in native tongue.
Former Prime Minister Hwang Sik Kim immediately alluded to the overriding point of the bid: to help bring about “a gateway for a new era for a united Korea.”
Though the South Korean President could not make the presentation due to problems in the wake of recent violence, he intimated by video link that he was “very touched and inspired by the vision of Fifa to foster peace and prosperity through football”.
The bid was well capped by a statesman-like Park Ji-Sung of Manchester United who spoke eloquently of the benefits that the nation could bring to FIFA.
Perhaps the most impressive presentation of all came from Qatar whose bid was backed by the likes of soccer legend Zinedine Zidane.
Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani, chief executive Hassan Al-Thawadi and Shaikha Moza bint Nasser who displayed an impressive array of French, Spanish and English highlighted the massive economic impact that the tournament could have on the nation.
Reliability, unity and opportunity were the keywords used by the slick Sheikh Mohammed who started the presentation fantastically in French. Hassan Al-Thawadi was in charge of disclosing the fine details of the bid in fluent Spanish revealing that US$50b will be spent on infrastructure.
All issues that had been raised over the bid were expertly remedied through concise plans and preparations which importantly included carbon neutral technology to keep players and fans cool. The show stealer was the revelation of plans for all-modular stadiums to be dismantled and reconstructed into 22 new ones across developing nations after the tournament.
The American bid had been touted amongst the favourites and was introduced by Hollywood star Morgan Freeman as the US sought to win the votes for the second time in their history. The actor muddled his lines slightly at times though he was keen to highlight the countries passion for, what I’m sure he begrudgingly called, ‘football’.
“We are now the most diverse nation on earth and our patchwork heritage is our greatest strength,” Freeman said in his long introduction. “If you haven’t lived in the United States you haven’t seen just how wide and deep Americans’ love of football really is. You’d be surprised, maybe even shocked.”
A video message was recorded by President Barack Obama who did not attend the event but did confirm that were they to win the bid, they would make FIFA “proud”. US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati was next to speak without notes as he went on to introduce America’s most successful soccer figure, Landon Donavon.
All video presentations were predictably effective and well made while Gulati spoke with flair and passion, highlighting the work that the US have done with FIFA in the past: “Working with Fifa we have achieved so much but the best is yet to come,”.
The final presentation of the day saw the bid team for Japan take to the stage with the focus on youth and technology. The ‘cute’ card was played early on with eight-year-old Rio Sasaki addressing the FIFA officials.
Chairman of the Japanese bid and FIFA ExCo member, Junji Ogura portrayed the message of the “Fifa World Cup for the next generation,” before he confirmed that Japan would address the concerns raised in the FIFA report.Ogura emphasised a worldwide appeal using 400 FIFA FanFests in stadiums all over the world, stating the scheme would mean “More people in more countries will enjoy more football than ever before.”
“It is not about one nation hosting the games, two nations hosting the games but about 208 countries and regions hosting the game together. Japan is just the co-ordinator, the partner who can enable Fifa to lead this revolution in how the world watches sport.”
Plans for a Dream Tour to send 6,000 children from all corners of the world to Japan to experience the World Cup was well received.
Technology has been a key stand point of the Japanese bid with bid chief executive Kohzo Tashima producing an enthusiastic speech explaining the plans, which include full life-size 3D broadcasts of matches in stadiums across the world. Tashima added: “Japan will put everything we have into it. All of our innovation, all of our know-how.”
An impressive presentation with decent and precise content finished with a fantastically-produced video under the name of ‘Dream 2022’. The fact that the presentation was not dominated by video and technology was a well planned strategy in a bid which focused on exactly that.