The football World Cup still has a distinct fascination even in this era of nonstop athletic competition, and in this regard, Qatar is about to make history by hosting the biggest sporting event in history on Sunday. The smallest country to host the tournament is Qatar. Brazilian and Russian venues hosted the previous two events. This accomplishment should be credited to the soft power and smart power components of Qatar’s diplomatic arsenal. The World Cup offers Qataris yet another chance to showcase their love of cultural diversity and dispel Western stereotypes of “fanaticism,” as recently shown by Islamophobic and racist French cartoons that feature Qatar’s national team. A visit to Doha reveals the obvious presence of foreigners, and the World Cup gives Qataris the chance to dispel Western stereotypes of fanaticism. Qataris are used to coexisting with foreigners.
But the event has exposed the fault lines created by the western countries, which have unleashed propaganda to damage football’s reputation as well, Qatar’s. They should be reminded that very few competitions kindle such worldwide interest and stir passion quite like the showpiece event of the most popular sport. For football nerds, it is the biggest stage to look out for the latest tactical trend. It is an opportunity to reconnect with their favourite teams, such as Argentina, Brazil and the Netherlands.
Fifa has appropriately insulted the players and stated that they should enjoy the occasion rather than impart moral messages and bring politics into the game. Human rights are unquestionably universal and applicable worldwide, however, Qatar has a nice reputation. The nation has spoken out against US invasions of nations like Afghanistan and Iraq as well as Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. Thank you, Qatar, for bringing the joyous celebration of the game to the Gulf and for bringing the proud moment there.