Richest Country Per Capita
Qatar’r huge oil and gas reserves have made it the richest country per capita on earth during the last 4 decades. The country has become a major and important regional player under the crown ship of Al Thani Royal Family. While using its resources, Qatar has extended its geopolitical influence in the most successful way in last few decades.
Qatar is the first Arab as well as Muslim country who is hosting the biggest world sporting event – the Soccer World Cup in 2022. For years, different countries of the world used to show off their power, recognition of prestige and pride through sports, however, in recent decades hosting the biggest sports event like world cups or Olympics has become a symbol of power and influence among the countries. Same is true for the Qatar. Situated on the most geopolitical chaotic region of the world, Qatar successfully won the bid to host world cup to extend its geopolitical influence, showoff its power muscles and recognize itself as a prestigious country of the world. But the question is, how a country like Qatar with no footballing history won the bid to host the Football World Cup 2022?
A number of factors contribute while answering this question. However one of the most important factors is, Qatar considered hosting the world cup near the top of its list of foreign policy objectives thus making it as important as anything else of a national interest. Accordingly, the country allocated all its vital resources, money and time and used all its diplomatic arms to achieve this national goal.
Money played a great role in wining Qatar the PIFA World cup’ bid. According to the Guardian, Qatar spent approximately $200 million in public fund in addition to the money spent privately, followed by Australia with estimated amount $42.7 million and then USA who spent less than $5 million. This all money was spent by Qatar on lobbying to win the bid of one of the world’s biggest sports event.
Another important factor that lead to winning the bid is Qatar’s absolute monarchy. While giving its own brand of politics, FIFA’s Secretary General, Jerome Valcke stated said that monarchies suit them better as decision making process is fast and they have to negotiate at a single level unlike in democratic countries. According to him, it is easier to deal with states who has strong heads like Russia’s President (Vladmir Putin) or Qatar’s emir (Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani) rather than countries like Germany where one have to negotiate at different levels.
On other side, there are many voices who opine that Qatar won the bid through unfair means. USA is amongst the top of these angry voices who was beaten by Qatar in final bid by 14-8 votes. It was reported by New York Times in April 2020, “After years of investigations and indictments, the United States Department of Justice on Monday said for the first time that representatives working for Russia and Qatar had bribed FIFA officials to secure hosting rights for the World Cup in men’s soccer.”