By: Muzaffar Ahmad Wagay
The fifa ( Federation International de Football Association) world cup, which started on 20th November 2022 with a number of controversies as the European world was seen criticizing the country for its migrant labor rights, minimal women’s rights and alcohol ban for the visitors in the stadiums. Some were of the opinion that why the world cup is going to the nation at the first place, which has never qualified for the world cup.
On the other hand, the FIFA world cup 2022 was a shocker to the world in terms of performances in the field, where the world’s top four teams were beaten by the teams which were outside 20. The world’s number one; Brazil was beaten by Cameron, Worlds Number 2; Belgium was beaten by Morocco, worlds number 3; Argentine beaten by Saudi, the world’s number 4 and former champion France was beaten by Tunisia.
Economically, it was a mouth opening world cup to the world as the Hosting country Qatar, which is a Muslim Arab country, spent unstintingly for the preparations of the world cup. It is estimated that Qatar spent $220 billion, which is more than twice of what was spent on previous eight world cups jointly.
In 2017, Qatar’s Minister of Finance said, “The country was spending $500 million per week on infrastructure projects including roads, hotels, stadiums and airport upgrades to prepare the small Middle east nation to host the world’s largest sporting event. It will be, by far, the most expensive World Cup in the history.”(Forbes, Nov 19 2022).
Before the world cup kicked off, the Hosting country was criticized for women’s rights and it was projected as an oppressor for the women with no educational rights by international media. When the reports dug deeper in the society and tried to know the facts ,they were astonished to know that the women in th country are given every right, they are independent and held with high esteem. Even the women of European and western countries while talking to news reporters were seen expressing themselves that they feel safer in Qatar than their own countries. Regarding the issue of alcohol ban, they expressed their pleasure for it was safer to enjoy the game with no alcohol at stadiums.
The scenes of Moroccan soccer players celebrating their win by dancing in their own way, with their parents especially mothers, kissing their forehead, gave a glimpse to the world that how parents and families are revered in these so called conservative countries. No old age homes in the country also serve as a proof of the differentiality. Rather the parents get more respect and more care when they get older according to the Islamic teachings. In fact, the deeper you dig the shocker it came to the world in every aspect.
The speculations, rumors and bogus reporting all seemed to vanish when the people came in contact with so called conservative country. It came to surface that there is a lot more which unites us than divides. Thereupon, Fifa did come as an eye opener for the world in terms of changing their perceptions held about the country and shocked the world by showing their never seen before performances.