Qatar eyes soft power win with FIFA World Cup
The World Cup might be Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-pinnacle Thani’s achievement on the international scene or it could be a disaster that Arab rivals who dislike Qatar for supporting banned Islamist movements and for using excessive force are eager to celebrate.
The 42-year-old leader is hoping that a successful tournament will establish Qatar as a respectable international player, show strength to rivals in the region, and appease national conservatives who have taken offense at worldwide criticism of their nation.
According to Allen Fromherz, author of “Qatar: A Modern History,” “a successful World Cup for Qatar would be considered as a conclusion of Tamim’s leadership and a confirmation that he has not only realized his father’s ambition but can now begin new visions and initiatives of his own.”
Since Qatar was selected as the first Middle Eastern country and absolute monarchy in the Gulf to host the 2022 World Cup, there has been controversy surrounding the tournament.
The organizers rebuffed complaints about social limitations and violations of human rights while vehemently disputing claims that they were paid bribes to gain the privileges. Due to the arid conditions, it was controversial to hold the tournament in late autumn rather than summer.
Tamim, who took over as ruler in 2013 after his father abdicated, has retaliated against the critics by denouncing what he called “ferocious” slander and double standards. He also pointed to Qatar’s labor reforms and its invitation of people from all walks of life to the event, which has put the country’s traditionally conservative Sunni Muslims to the test.
Now that the World Cup has been organized at a cost of $220 billion, which is nearly 20 times more than Russia spent in 2018, all eyes are on the smallest country to host the event.
Doha has changed dramatically since Qatar won the bid 12 years ago. Authorities claim that the construction blitz was planned regardless of the event that sped up the pace and will soon welcome 1.2 million tourists to new motorways, a metro, stadiums, new airports, and ports.
Tamim played a significant role in the year leading up to the World Cup by attempting to make Qatar have as few enemies and as many friends as possible, according to Cinzia Bianco, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
He has contributed significantly to demonstrating Qatar’s status as a developing, modern nation and has served as the face of all the development, she claimed.
She added that Tamim has promoted a “consensus-based approach” to gain soft power and international prestige, which are crucial resources for a small government in an unstable area.