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Happy New Year 2022: All eyes on Qatar as we welcome the World Cup year

07:30 GMT 01/01/2022
Al Thumama stadium
The Middle-East nation will be under spotlight as it hosts the biggest sporting extravaganza come November this year...

2022, a World Cup year, is well and truly upon us. For football fans, the turn of a World Cup year is a promise of excitement and expectation that comes once every four years.

As such, a lot will be expected from 2022 which is expected to be the last World Cup for two of the greatest players the world has ever seen - Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (However, Ronaldo and Portugal are yet to qualify for the final stages).

And Qatar will be the stage where it all unfolds. They've been in preparations for quite some time and the turn of 2022 is a signal that we are extremely close to a very important tournament in many ways for Qatar and the Arab region.

On December 2, 2010, Qatar became the cynosure of all eyes as it won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup, beating the likes of Australia, South Korea, Japan and USA.

Since then, there have been various discussions ranging from whether a country as small as Qatar with a population of 3 million or so can host the World Cup or will the weather be conducive to human rights and several other questions. There have also been serious discussions around whether the 2022 edition of the World Cup should be expanded to 48 teams and possibly co-host the sporting event. 

For more than 10 years, Qatar has been battling these concerns and although, like everything in life, there is certainly a scope of improvement, the reality is that the World Cup is less than 330 days away.

2022 will by far be the litmus test for the Arab country and the best way to answer their critics or probably, change the preconceived notions about the region would be by providing a fantastic experience to football fans of all castes, creed, gender and colour.

This will be the year where Qatar would have to live up to its promise of ‘Deliver Amazing’. Seven of the eight World Cup venues have been inaugurated, the transport system has been carved out to cater to the massive demand expected and fans across the world will be introduced to the ‘cooling technology’ for the very first time which will be a new experience altogether and change the way football is watched/consumed in humid climatic conditions.

No doubt, there are questions, opinions and counterviews on Qatar. But 2022 is set to be Qatar's year to project their answers on the global stage.

With football as the medium to convey what Qatar is all about to fans around around the world, 2022 holds a lot of promise - not just to fans, but also to Qatar and the Middle-East region.