Following a “fantastic” experience covering the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, a Doha Stadium Plus sports reporter has returned to Qatar to share his observations about the tournament’s host.
In a recent DSP column, journalist N. Ganesh gave Brazil tops marks in terms of organization, friendliness and fun, and based on his experience there offers this advice to Qatar to ensure a successful 2022 World Cup:
- Qataris should try harder to mix with the expat population. They “must understand how it feels like mingling with the foreigners living in their own country. Only then can they welcome the fans from abroad with open arms. Brazil could do that.”
- The 2022 World Cup experience should be enjoyable even when there’s no matches on. “They must ensure there is enough avenues for them to have fun. Some of the experiences Brazil could offer are not permissible in Qatar due to the region’s sensitivities, but there will be a lot of takers for those that are unique in the Arab world, be it the cuisine or dune bashing.”
- Train policemen better. In Brazil, those who managed the crowds rarely postured, asserts Ganesh. Even after Brazil flamed out 1-7 against Germany, traffic flowed smoothy, he said. In Qatar, however, big football matches always end up falling into chaos, in large part due to poor security: “Sadly, year after year, it is the forces who panic more than the public before the Emir’s Cup final. It results from a lack of preparation and homework. It is the events that should shine and not event managers.”
What tips would you add? Thoughts?
sorry, Mr. N. Ganesh, i don’t want to be a pessimist but i’m just a realistic creature but your advice will surely not work with them.. you can’t expect them to freely mingle with expats, they can;just simply embrace other cultures with an open arms overnight, you can’t simply transform them for the sake of hosting the World Cup with a magic wand because they thought for a while hosting the World Cup will just be a matter of kicking some balls in the sand, i don’t need to elaborate further on other hindrances, for Mr. reporter surely know the answer to it.. just open your eyes and you will see and feel for yourself that your advice is just wishful thinking….just thinking aloud!
Totally agree. Then comes the question – do they actually need the WC?
No of course Qatar doesn’t need the World Cup. It is not about football, just about showing your wealth and to try and raise the countries worldwide profile. Which at the moment is backfiring, judging by the amount of negative press the country is receiving.
Wow I’m impressed, you must be an Oxford graduate to have figured this all out on your own.
I am and I did. It was in my thesis “Dull countries, their touchy inhabitants and world cup bribery”. I received a 1st for it.
Wow, that is eerie similar to what my thesis was titled, “The role of the dregs of Western society in developing countries and confronting the challenges arising from their insecurities, bitterness and god complex”.
What was your conclusion on why Qatar only has the ability to recruit the dregs of western society to extract their gas and build their city?
There are a substantial number of foreign talent in Qatar and a substantial number of dregs. The latter have limited employment opportunities abroad and their frustrations stem from a combination of not being desirable elsewhere, feeling entitled to the same benefits as the locals, entitled to dictate how the religion/culture of the people should be practiced, and expecting First World standards from a non-First World country, this despite them not offering First World quality skills.
My conclusion is that fault ultimately lies with the Qataris and not the dregs. The Qataris create the conditions that allow unqualified (if not also incompetent) Qataris to have more authority than they can handle, and this in turn promotes the dreg situation.
I received a High Distinction for the conclusion alone.
It is a WC.
Forget about it. The WC in Qatar will never be anything like Brazil, he hit the nail on the head when he said region’s sensitivities. Swap sensitives for intolerance of other cultures and you are closer to the point. What do you think a female Brazil fan will understand by someone insilting the way she dresses? She will be confused as she came for a party of football and ends up being harassed and judged.
Unless Qatar can suspend the ‘normal’ rules of behaviour, including the police, (Please don’t arrest people for kissing and hugging in public) then I feel it will be a very sterile World Cup, only for FIFA to make money and those rich enough to get here and be able to stay here. No really a festival of football, more a corporate enrichment exercise.
Qatar needs to try to develop an alternative WC as it certainly can’t compete against Brazil.
I commend Mr. Ganesh for his deep insightful observations, here I was thinking that the visitors to Qatar will enjoy receiving pamphlets on suitable attire, being instructed where they can and cannot drink, spending their weeks in Doha going to Katara, Souq Waqif, the museums and starting the tour again at Katara, and of course the suspense of not knowing whether their purchased tickets for a match will in fact entitle them to a seat at that game. To find out this is not the case at all is quite shocking to say the least.
Have you been spying on me, you’ve just relived my expat life. One thing you missed though was nearly getting killed every day on the lawless roads….
Reliving your “expat life” as opposed to what? The locals life? Let me let you in on a little secret, there are no Qatar attractions and entertainment reserved only for Qatari use, nor are their separate roads offering only Qataris an express route, in fact they encounter the same kind of traffic as everyone else, and their traffic is managed by the same set of traffic police as everyone else. Even when they attend big sport events in town holding valid tickets, there are no alternative gate entrances made available to them, they confront the same security guards and situations as everyone else there.
Your right it’s the same for all here. I just popped over to a building site and ask a fellow there how he ensures his driver makes sure his pet cheetahs and monkeys dont spoil the leather seats in his Bentley and if he puts the nanny and kids in first or business class when flying to the French rivera for summer….
There are class divisions in every corner of the world, and Qatar is no different. Saleem makes an excellent point, everyone here shares the same space. All these comments about mixing with other cultures, coming from people that come from far away places yet are seldom seen with anyone of a different skin color, background, language, or home country. All the birds of a feather flocking together. I highly doubt you spend much time hanging about with the guys on the Tata buses that make all the things in your life here work, from the electricity and water to putting food on store shelves. I have been nearly killed on the roads by people from Qatar, UAE, India, Egypt, England, America…..stupidity doesn’t discriminate it seems.
Thank you. As I have said above, his post reeks of bitterness and falls short on logic. You have pretty much summed up my point perfectly.
I don’t think that is a fair comment. While the percentage of spoiled elite are more in Qatar due to the welfare country situation, the majority are still down to earth Qatari’s. In fact, most of the one’s that I have met in real life fall under the latter category. Unfortunately, the bad ones tend to leave the sharper impression and becomes the stereotype.
His comment is one that is entirely irrelevant period. I mention how the negative aspects of the country will affect the locals as well, he brings up the wealth of the locals as if somehow that is a panacea against bad traffic, poor event management, etc.
Bitterness unfortunately does distort ones ability to think objectively and can lead to the type of irrational thinking you see above.
It certainly is cruel what you must endure in Qatar. I am sure the Western media would be in a major uproar if they were aware of the squalid home you are forced to live in at the compounds, the less than Olympic sized pool you must share with other residents, the indignity of having to drive a non-European vehicle, the grueling work conditions imposed on you at the workplace such as the excessive 40 hours a week minimum and the draconian measures taken by the IT department to deny you the right to access gmail.
Here’s another thing you might have not known, those bankers receiving huge bonuses in London, the Fortune 500 CEOs of America, etc., all lead very different lifestyles than the average person living in those countries…
If you are looking for “the same for all” perhaps you should move to Cuba.
You guys are laughable,I made a tongue in cheek comment and all the sycophantic residents troll me. Your all far too precious and not open to any criticism. I’ m not going to debate social equity,inclusion etc when you are trolling me on a forum. Name a place and time outside of the Gulf where I won’t be locked away for some rubbish charge which is against UN Charters you have signed and I’d be very happy to.debate your points. Otherwise perhaps just look at your PISA rates and reflect if you would have any chance of actually winning any debate.
The only thing laughable is a clown like you constantly attacking the locals and getting emotional when I return the favor. I have read several Western reports criticizing Qatar and I am rarely offended, and if your head was not so far up your own behind you would see the difference between the snide remarks and outright insults you attempt to pass off as “criticism”, and genuine criticism based on the country’s shortcomings.
I also saw your original comment before you removed it where you called me a “slaver” (just another one of your harmless “criticisms” right?), check your own history and you’ll find you are the descendant of “slavers” whose actions have been responsible for strife, cultural loss, poverty and war in several continents, and where the populations of those areas still suffer from your ancestors “adventures” up until today…
Don’t kid yourself and presume I would want to debate with you in the first place, I reserve the clowning sessions for the clowns, not debates.
Yawn. No substance..slaver …and answer the question, any place anytime where Freedom of speech is a right not a crime. Diddiddydiddydiddy have a circus next to a mall and let kids play with tigers…Ohh bitten..now who are the clowns in the circus of life? Any way Salem you started the criticism of Qatar with your very first post…what the?
I wouldn’t expect anything more from you. It is clear that reading in general would have that effect on you…
Saleem and Cerebus are you the same schlub?
You have made a giant leap to assume that all of us that commented in response to your ignorant remark are locals….then you go as far as to reply again with ignorance and make an insulting statement about academic test scores. As to the idea that one wins a debate by ending your argument with an insult? Guess you don’t win too many, as that essentially means you have lost.
Yawn..sycophant your Qatari citizenship and 10 X pay rise is on the way …and answer the question anytime anyplace where Freedom speech us a right….
You really insist on making my point for me don’t you. I desire neither of the above, nor do I need the praise of anyone, Qatari or otherwise. Not everyone here in Qatar is here for a paycheck, and I am quite happy with my current citizenship thanks. I just…..gasp…..think we should be kind and decent to each other, and from time to time maybe we have to take that first step.
Exactly I made a tongue in cheek comment and got attacked..think about it , so you make my point for me also , by the way I didn’t say local I said resident big difference…
It was not your tongue and cheek remark, it was the the comments afterwards laced with racial overtones and insults that caught my attention. You may not have liked what Salem said, but there really was not a need to publicly bash the broad population of Qatar that way. There are exceptionally bad examples of people everywhere in the world. So when I think about it, I think, well here is an example of a person with a short fuse that falls into cutting remarks as the first resource in response to someone who disagrees with them. This is a small world, and an even smaller country and examples like the ones on display above reflect poorly on all of us expats, not just yourself. Think about it.
You guys are adding nothing whatsoever to the discussion. Why bother taking part if you just want to trade personal insults?
Debate is about listening to the other opinion offered, and responding constructively. Name calling is boring , by the way, for the rest of us who wade through it , hoping for something interesting. Maybe take it to Yahoo.
Good advice but will fall on deaf ears. Not one of the three items will ever become reality Im afraid. Qataris don’t like us, we are here to serve their purposes…If you can not enjoy a cold beer whilst relaxing by a pool don’t expect a festival atmosphere…the police cant even intercept a dangerous driver don’t expect any form of decent policing for the WC. If the crowds do come, its going to be mayhem when they realise they cant wear shorts in 50 degree heat, cant buy a beer, no festival atmosphere…then watch the incompetent ‘police’ try and deal with them all boiling over. That’s if they come, I doubt they will, it will be a flop.
So, do you think that the people of Brazil should have changed so they could accommodate the British nationals that are visiting there? If FIFA and the World Cup are truly about sport and cultural relations, then surely one would expect to go to the hosting country with the prospect of discovering a new or different culture. If you mean to say that the World Cup should only be reserved for countries willing to host thousands of drunken soccer hooligans and just deal with their antics…..you may have missed the point about what global sports is about. I think that given the cultural beliefs of the people here, they are being quite accommodating. Speculation about leaflets and lectures about clothing or decorum are just that speculation. Maybe we should give the people of Qatar the opportunity to demonstrate to the world what their country and culture is about before we simply dismiss them. And if you really must have a beer to watch the games, they are planning on having fan zones that allow just that sort of thing. All of these posts are about how Qatar should change rather than the people coming having an open mind. I think before I travel to the UK next, they should all learn to drive, and drive on the right side of the road….etc. etc..etc… So now you are a Qatari and you read these comments and posts, and then you wonder why there isn’t more interaction between the different factions here.
You’ve really got it in for me haven’t you..sad, by the way your presumptions are wrong, I don’t watch football and drink beer nor am I from the Uk, so as for your earlier wrongly informed belief about comments about I making presumptions of nationality…well
Never assumed you to be from the UK, just ignorant.
Ignorant…ok..protector of the underworld..one where entry and exit are your domain of power…slave trading comes to mind…moron
I also never advocated on behalf if the Kafala system. In fact I believe I stated I disagree with it in its entirety.
I dont work in Qatar, I did not and do not come here on my own accord, I publicly express my disgust and lobby in full face and identity to all and sundry, I am no way culpable as you describe pal. I have lived here on a family visa previously for a very short time, and after we saw the horrorofic human right conditions we deceided we could not be a party of it, I now come and go and see the horror that is the place. so stick that in your presumtious pipe pal.
You are not morally superior to everyone else here because you champion human rights and freedoms anonymously on Doha News. You came to this country of your own accord, knowing full and well what the situation was, which makes you as culpable as anyone else here for contributing to this “underworld” and supporting the “slavers” economy, no matter how remote you may think you are from the situation. One who claims to be a strong critic of the tobacco industry will not be taken seriously if it is revealed that they are currently employed as an accountant at Marlboro.
So unless you take your grievances to a public forum, or leave the situation altogether, all you are conveying to us is how the “slavers” paychecks speaks to you louder than any of your claimed values and moral convictions, as your actions make you as much of a “protector of the underworld” as any expat working here, irrespective of your or their individual opinions regarding the situation.
May I just mention that in fact leaflets are already being handed out telling women here how to dress? That’s not hypothetical. Someone attempted to lecture me about how I was dressing when I was following all the rules anyways – it was more a form of oppression and domination rather than a ‘welcome to our country.’ If they don’t do the leaflets during the WC, then won’t they just be hypocrites?
Was handed the same leaflet, while wearing a suit. Did I walk away upset, no, just placed it in the bin on my way out the door. There are people in NYC that hand out bibles on the corner, people in San Francisco that will hand you petitions to legalize gay marriage, people in Las Vegas that will give you leaflets to every house of prostitution in town. Point being, we all have cultural differences, and there are people everywhere that want to express them. Were you really so offended? I think to pass judgement on entire swaths of people, people that we dont even really know, is really just wrong. Give them a chance already and lets stop judging them on what we think is going to happen 8 years on.
Could you tell me one cultural reservation that the Brazilians would have needed to change to accommodate the British nationals visiting there?
Oh, lets say they shift their stand with their neighbor Argentina about the Falklands? My point being its just bizarre for people that visit another country to expect that country to change in order to accommodate something that the guest is expecting. I used the British as an example, call it Spain, France, Qatar, whomever…..
That’s a political issue, I don’t think ownership of the Falklands is a British cultural issue, it is also not related to Brazil. So to recap, to reinforce your point, you needed to use a political rather than cultural issue and relate it to a third country.
Ok lets make it easier for you, please name me one cultural issue that Spain or France fans needed Brazil to change?
It is only this region of the world that hides behind “cultural issues” to foster an intolerance of other cultures, and whilst I agree that most Qatari’s do not share this view, it is reinforced by their government. Even other Muslim nations do not impose their beliefs and cultures on immigrants or visitors. Go to Malaysia during Ramadan and see if they make food unavailable to all, or even arrest you for eating outside, during fasting.
Politics, or the study thereof is categorized within the academic realm of, Social Sciences….not to poke holes. I used this as an example as (although I disagree with it) the laws or politics of the region, specifically labor laws, are often used as an example or point about why they should not host. So no need to address again your question. My point is only to make a generalization. The broader point is do you expect the people of another country to change when you visit? We could use to social context of religion, should Brazil be pressured to expand Anglican churches to be able to host the World Cup? It’s all arbitrary because we simply should not demand other people to change their systems of belief because we don’t agree with it. If that means they don’t want to tolerate drunken soccer fans, then so be it. I think we may all be surprised as to what may transpire, but honestly you have to give people a chance first. Maybe I am asking to much.
You also have to display tolerance if you invite the world over your doorstep.
Absolutely – it’s a two way street, and even if you don’t invite them a good practice.
True, but the world hasn’t shown up on Qatar’s doorstep, they have been cordially invited. Now the Saudi’s also have even less tolerance for other cultures (and religions) but they keep themselves to themselves and would never dream of bidding for a global sporting event.
Also, here is one example of Brazil changing the rules for the world cup, although not a cultural example.
I will imagine Qatar will be forced to do the same. The sale of alcohol in the Pearl caused a massive stink, lets see how this “respect is reflected”
triple yawn, isnt doha so boring it sends you to sleep…
We’ll all be yawning at WC2022 in-between the games.
Qataris mixing with ex-pats? It will never happen. Since when did slave-owners mix with their slaves?
I didn’t realize I owned a slave. Where are you from? I need to know so I can determine whether I will need to arrange a visa for you, I will be traveling soon and could use someone under my ownership to fetch my groceries and clean my laundry.
Don’t forget you would also need to get them an exit permit, to give them “permission” to leave your country.
You’re a slave of mine too, report to my palace and I will give you his approval to hand to the authorities.
On second thought, that may not be necessary, as I have full ownership of you two I can just stuff the both of you in a suitcase as I would with any of my other possessions.
Yes your highness
Leaving aside the decision to award the World Cup to Qatar, the tournament represents an opportunity for the country to showcase itself to the world. I’m sure this an opportunity that most Qataris would like to take. My sincere hope is that, if it goes ahead, this opportunity is embraced.
The spotlight of the world media has been quite intense recently – time for Qatar to prove it can get the job done, and provide a World Cup as enthralling as we have seen in Brazil. By the same token, the same goes for Russia – and the spotlight should be shining bright on them too.
All said and done, if England were to win either, I’d probably refer to it as the best World Cup ever.
These comments are filled with irony. Expats dissing on Qataris for not being inclusive by making comments and assertions that are exclusive in their meaning. Ignorance……it must truly be blissful.
Perhaps most comments weren’t posted when you posted yours, Cerebus. Plenty of expats think that Qatar should host the tournament and will make it a good experience for all. Just different to Brazil.
Regarding point #2, I wonder how many will fly to Dubai in between matches? Those with a bit more disposable income might even just rent a hotel there and fly to Doha for matches?
Just in case anyone has forgotten, it is 8 years until the WC arrives in Qatar and I am sure that a lot will change in that time. All countries want to use the WC , Olympics etc. as a ‘show case’ for what it can offer and Qatar is no different. Qatar know what an opportunity they have with the WC and I am sure that when the time comes they will embrace it wholeheartedly. It may well be that some of the more conservative elements of Qatari society will be upset, but I obviously belief that the WC 2022 will be a great experience for all of the fans that attend (apart form the usual English failure to perform on the pitch!).
So Qatar won’t be like Brazil. So what? I doubt Russia will be either. You all talk about embracing other cultures- why not consider embracing Qatari culture too? The bottom line really isn’t about where you can drink a cold beer, or if women can go to matches or go shopping in bikinis.
I have no doubt whatsoever that alcohol will be accommodated, it is pretty well easily available here now, and quite frankly, I for one wont mind if football fans cant carouse in the streets with bottles of beer, drunk and aggressive. It isn’t acceptable ANYWHERE , not just in this region. Plenty of towns and cities in the UK now have a ban on drinking alcohol in the street, simply because of the problems.
If fans come here expecting Brazil Mark 2, then the failure will be that the expectations are incorrect.
Its not one or the other. You don’t jump from the extreme of having no alcohol on the street to rampaging drunks causing riots. EVERY city in the UK lets you sit at street side cafes, restaurants and pubs to have a glass of wine or beer with your meal. They tried that here, massive complaints, then banned.
Kingpin- Every UK city does not permit drinking in the streets. My own jhome Citry has a ban on it, refusing a lisence for pavement tables for local pubs in the Marketplace because of the drunken weekend behavior of the few. As for rampaging drunks, well football fans worldwide can give examples of that very thing. I’m not talking about a riot, just anti social behavior. If you don’t understand what I mean, then I envy your life experience to date.
My poit was that Qatar will offer the Qatari experience, not a facsimile of a Brazilian one. Many people would actually welcome the opportunity, having never been to the Middle East, and only view it as a violent, half burnt out urban landscape peopled by rock throwing youths, or an arid- in every sense of the word-desert. Qatar has the opportunity to open eyes as well as hearts and minds
Dubai 2022 WC sounds more exciting 😀 just kidding