Lusail Iconic Stadium Doha

BY HASSAN ABDULLA AL THAWADI, QATAR 2022 BID CHIEF EXECUTIVE

There has been a lot of talk recently in the British and German press regarding our ability to host football’s most glamorous and high-profile competition, especially when it comes to trifling matters such as whether or not we’ll allow homosexuals into the Emirate and the so-called ‘abhorrent’ treatment of those employed in building our wonderful new stadiums. But let me ask you: what about all the migrant workers who haven’t died during construction? Why is no one willing to talk about them?

Take a minute to consider this: If there are 1.5 million people involved in bringing Qatar up to standard for 2022, and at least 4,000 are predicted t0 perish during this time, that means 0.27% of the people will die. That’s hardly anything! Seriously, when put into such context, what’s the big deal? That’s a tiny, almost insignificant percentage, hardly even worth Amnesty International’s time. Come on, it’s not exactly the Trail of Tears is it?

Protesters are saying that the people are starving, having to beg for food, and suffering regular beatings. To this I say: how else are you supposed to motivate them? Praise them? Give them more money? Do me a favour. A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s play, as my father always said, and besides, they’re all illegal immigrants anyway. They’re lucky to get a scrap of bread from us. But we’re a generous and benevolent society, and so we allow them a meagre ration to just about keep their strength up in order to build our pleasure palaces on schedule.

No one said that holding such a tournament would be easy. It wouldn’t have cost us so much in bribes and kickbacks if it were. But we’re confident that as long as everyone keeps their mouths shut and their eyes closed, Qatar 2022 will be the greatest World Cup of them all. Even if it ends up being boycotted by UEFA.