Thank you FIFA, Thank you Qatar

This FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has given us goals, saves, players, teams, redemptions, heart-breaks and heart-makes. Most importantly it has given us memories that will last a lifetime.
"The Western media tried their best to pressurise the Qatari management but they did not give in. They did not compromise on their values, traditions and beliefs."
"The Western media tried their best to pressurise the Qatari management but they did not give in. They did not compromise on their values, traditions and beliefs."Twitter/ @FIFAWorldCup

This year’s FIFA World Cup took place in Qatar from November 18th, 2022 to December 18 2022. This edition of the ultimate game was special as it was the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East and in a Muslim country, only the second in Asia.

The opening ceremony was held at the Majestic Al-Bayt Stadium, the ceremony showcased a beautiful combination of the legendary, Morgan Freeman and the inspirational and talented Ghanim Al-Muftah, who is also the Brand Ambassador of the World Cup.

The South Korean sensation Jung Kook of BTS also performed the official theme song of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022- Dreamers. A number of Foreign dignitaries like; The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia; Mohammed-bin-Salman, President of Palestine; Mahmoud Abbas, The King of Jordan; Abdullah II, President of Turkiye; R.T. Erdogan and Emir of Qatar; Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani were also in attendance.

The ceremony delivered a message on coming together of the global communities and uniting under one grand footballing festival. It promoted multiculturalism and expressed Welcome, Hospitality and Entertainment.

The matches never stopped the audience from biting their nails and catching their breath. Shocks like; Saudi Arabia stunning Messi and the world, Early German exit, Moroccan magic and Dutch comeback were absolute movie material.

However, Qatar has faced tremendous criticism since day one from the western media over the deaths of migrant workers during the construction of the stadiums, the temperature of Qatar, the banning of LGBTQ values and so on.

The Western media tried their best to pressurise the Qatari management but they did not give in. They did not compromise on their values, traditions and beliefs. Qatar promised to give us the best World Cup ever and didn’t they deliver!

“It is a complete joke; it is hypocrisy at its best…if the European countries, even Canada or the United States look at their issues with human rights, they should not be really looking at Qatar. It’s a joke. I mean were laughing at It.” said a fan during an interview.

“…the country is small and we could be with all the fans all together during the whole World Cup and for me that is what the World Cup is about…” a French fan said.

Here are some quick highlights which make this World Cup special and the Best One Ever:

1. Underdogs beating the giants: The historic wins of Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Japan and Morocco were genuinely unexpected. They showed the world that Football is truly a global game.

2. Security: No major security incidents or crimes were reported during the FIFA World Cup. This shows the success of the safety and security team in Qatar. 3. The security was provided by specially trained troops sent from the Pakistani Army.

3. Women: Many women lauded Qatar for banning alcohol sales in the stadiums. They say it has really made them feel safe and comfortable.

4. Records Smashed: A total of 172 goals were scored at the World Cup in Qatar, an all-time new compaction record. Moreover, the viewing figures of the FIFA World Cup 2022 have crossed the 4 billion mark and more than 1.8 million fans attended the FIFA Fan Festival in Doha.

5. Palestine: The Palestinian flags were a common sight amongst the fans and the players. Seeing people from around the globe remembering the people of Palestine and carrying them in their hearts was again a big win.

6. Satisfaction: The people witnessing the World Cup in Qatar, particularly from the western world spoke nothing but good regarding the Qatari hospitality, culture and warmth they received.

7. Ultimate Messi Moment; Lionel Messi destroying defences and scoring wonders was an absolute treat. It had to be Argentina. It had to be Messi. It was surely written in the Stars.

Perhaps, the moment that received the loudest of cheers was not the winning penalty but when Sheikh Tamim draped the Bisht (An Arab dress for an official occasion and worn for celebrations) on the Argentine captain’s shoulders. This is the greatest honour that you could bestow on a person in the Arab world.

Leo has finally won the planet’s Ultimate Prize and that too in some fashion. Many congratulations to the Little man from Rosario, Argentina and the blue sea of fans across the world. 

This World Cup also gave us new stars like Sofiyan Amrabat, Josko Gvardiol, Enzo Fernandez, Cody Gakpo, Azzedine Ounahi and so on. We also saw some brilliant performances between the sticks, not just during the matches but also during the penalty shootouts.

It is safe to say that this World Cup was not won by goals up top but saves at the back. Yassine Bounou, Dominik Livakovic and Emi Martinez were on top of their game and contributed massively to their team’s successes.

Gianni Infantino, the President of FIFA quoted this tournament as ‘the best ever’. He also added that ‘many people from around the world have come to Qatar and have discovered the Arab world, which they did not know or they knew only what was portrayed to them.”

This FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has given us goals, saves, players, teams, redemptions, heart-breaks and heart-makes but most importantly it has given us memories that will last a lifetime.

All of this would not have been possible without the vision of The Emir of Qatar Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thanni, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the Chief Executive Officer of the World Cup in Qatar, Nasser Al-Khater and the thousands of workers and volunteers who played a vital part in making this tournament a resounding success. 

This World Cup was Indeed the Best One Ever. From the bottom of the billions of footballing hearts:

Shukran FIFA!

Shukran Qatar!

Mohammad Tazeem is pursuing B.A from the University of Delhi

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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