Despite hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar has encountered some criticism in recent years for a number of reasons. There have been allegations of corruption, and questions raised about the legitimacy of the event. As well as receiving criticism from the international community, the host country has also drawn criticism from LGBT rights groups and American officials.
In September 2010, FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced that the 2022 FIFA World Cup would be held in Qatar, after an international bid was made. As well as hosting the tournament, Qatar will be the first Middle East country to host a FIFA World Cup. As of January 2014, the official schedule of the tournament was unknown. However, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to begin in November 2022, with the final on January 31, 2023.
The FIFA Executive Committee met in Zurich on 2 December 2010 and voted to award the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar. The host country was allocated 32 teams into four pots based on the FIFA Men’s World Rankings of 31 March 2022. Pot one contained the hosts, and pots two and four were allocated the next best eight teams and five lowest-ranked teams, respectively. As the draw was held before the end of qualification, the results of the inter-confederation play-offs had not yet been announced.
The draw was held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, and thousands of spectators witnessed synchronised projections of the Qatar World Cup emblem on iconic buildings. The emblem was designed to reflect local and regional Arab culture, and includes allusions to the beautiful game.
The group stage, consisting of four matches per day, will be held at the Lusail Stadium in Doha. The stadium will have a capacity of 45,330 seats, with a temporary modular upper tier. The kick-off times for the group stage are 13:00, 16:00, 19:00 and 22:00. The first match will be played on 21 November 2022, with the third-place match on 17 December 2022.
In January 2009, FIFA began the bidding process for the tournament. The bids of eleven nations were made. However, with the exception of Mexico, most of the countries in the bids dropped out, leaving only the United States, Canada and Mexico as the three remaining nations in the bid. The Netherlands and Argentina, who were originally considered to be among the five bids for the tournament, also dropped out.
The host country is expected to be the second-smallest nation to host the tournament by population. In addition to Switzerland, Uruguay and Germany, both nations have hosted the World Cup on more than one occasion. However, the United States, Argentina and Mexico have not yet qualified for the tournament. Brazil, Sweden and France have also hosted the event. Uruguay and Italy have also hosted the tournament twice.
Qatar has also hired workers from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan to prepare the stadiums and other facilities for the tournament. However, despite the controversy, FIFA officials and the bid team have defended the host country.