National identity, social legacy and Qatar 2022: the cultural ramifications of FIFA’s first Arab World Cup
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This article argues that the decision to award Qatar the World Cup in 2022 will have a lasting impact on the Gulf state. I suggest that hosting the 2022 World Cup is a central part of Qatar’s strategy to announce itself as a legitimate actor on the world stage, one unique amongst other Muslim and Arab nations. I contend that the World Cup is a vital part of this process because it allows Qatar a space that permits the emirate to address specific issues within its society in a manner which coexists with, rather than surrendering to, external values and norms. The article concludes by arguing that if Qatar 2022 is to justify FIFA’s decision to cross one of the last civilizational bridges left in global sport, it will have to demonstrate that the image and reform it presents to the rest of the world are genuine and lasting. © 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.