FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar came as a surprise to many people. The tiny country is not known for it’s footballing prowess (the national team has never qualified for a World Cup) and the temperatures make going outside or especially playing football, incredibly tough. Lastly only the bars of luxury hotels are allowed to serve alcohol which may be a problem for the international spectators.
How did the Qatari bid team manage to convince a majority of the committee to back them? Were they were swayed by fantastical promises of giant metal clouds that would provide shade for the stadiums? Or was a more traditional business arrangement?
Allegations of vote trades and payoffs have been circulating in the European press since the hosts were announced in 2010. We travel around the world to investigate the many unanswered questions about 2022 and speak to the major players.