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Has The 2022 FIFA World Cup Been Boycotted? Will hosting a bring investment to Qatar?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be the 22nd running of the FIFA World Cup competition, the quadrennial international men’s football championship contested by the senior national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December 2022. This will be the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world, and it will be the second World Cup held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament was held in South Korea and Japan. In addition, the tournament will be the last to involve 32 teams, with an increase to 48 teams scheduled for the 2026 tournament in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Due to Qatar’s intense summer heat, this World Cup will be held from late-November to mid-December, making it the first tournament not to be held in May, June, or July; it is to be played in a reduced timeframe of around 28 days. The first match played at the tournament will be contested between Senegal and the Netherlands at Al Thumama Stadium, Doha. The final is due to be held on 18 December 2022, which is also Qatar National Day. The reigning World Cup champions are France.

Has The 2022 FIFA World Cup Been Boycotted?

Banking subsidiary ING Belgium, chocolate producer Côte d’Or, hypermarket chain Carrefour, courier service GLS and beer brand Jupiler have said they will not be using the allocation of tickets they are entitled to receive as sponsors of the Belgian national team.

Several sponsors of the Dutch team – ING, telecommunications company KPN, supermarket chain Albert Heijn, cryptocurrency exchange Bitvavo and Dutch state lottery Nederlandse Loterij have all communicated they will not be taking clients to the World Cup either.

ING, the main sponsor of the Dutch national team, insisted it will not use World Cup imagery in its advertisements.

“The human rights situation is the reason why we are not doing anything at this tournament,” an ING spokesperson told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

ING Belgium, the Belgian subsidiary of the ING Group, reiterated the core part of the statement.

“ING Belgium will not send representatives, will not receive customers and will not launch a campaign around the World Cup in Qatar,” the company said, as reported by Francs Jeux.

“This is due to the human rights situation surrounding the preparations for the tournament.”

ING Belgium’s presence will still be felt, with its logo set to still appear on Belgium’s training apparel, at the training ground and on the branded backdrops for interviews.

Following research from Profundo, Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant reported in December that ING had supplied loans to the Qatar National Bank (QNB) for several years and has helped its counterpart with international bond issues.

The QNB used the loans to aid projects and companies connected to the World Cup.

Will hosting a World Cup bring investment to Qatar?

In November 2022, Qatar will become the first Arabic country to host the FIFA World Cup, the world’s most prestigious and high-profile football tournament.

Qatar is also the first country since Italy in 1934 to host the tournament, held every four years, having never played in it before (although Italy didn’t enter the inaugural event in 1930, whereas Qatar has tried and failed to qualify for each tournament since 1978). Both by land mass and population size, Qatar is the smallest host country ever.

The tournament is a big deal then for a country that has fewer than three million residents. For the 2018 tournament, held in Russia, football’s governing body, FIFA, says more than one billion people tuned in to watch at least some of the final game between France and Croatia.

No other single sporting event can draw as much global attention to a location, and most host countries set out to use this global platform to promote themselves and boost their economies.

However, academic research into the economic impact of hosting the World Cup suggests any advantages gained are at best hard to perceive and at worst non-existent.

For Andrew Zimbalist, the author of Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup, the evidence is clear: “There is virtual unanimity in the scholarship that on the question of the economic impact of mega events, they don’t promote economic development.”

Yet Qatar, like its predecessor hosts, hopes that it will reap rewards from placing the country so visibly on the world stage.

Which teams have qualified for Qatar World Cup 2022?

Qatar became the first nation to qualify for the 2022 World Cup automatically as hosts when they won the bid to stage the tournament. It is their first appearance in the competition having never previously qualified for the finals.

Germany were the second team to qualify for the tournament after defeating North Macedonia in October 2021 and topping Group J.

Denmark also qualified in October after their 1-0 victory over Austria, cementing their status as Group F winners.

Brazil became the first South American nation to qualify after beating Colombia 1-0, ensuring their status as the only country to reach every World Cup finals continues.

Belgium qualified as Group E winners, while France also were confirmed as Group D winners on the same day. Croatia qualified as winners of Group H, beating Russia 1-0 in a winner-takes-all clash, while Spain topped Group B. Serbia, meanwhile, qualified at the expense of Portugal in Group A after beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. in the final qualifier.

England qualified on November 15 with their final qualifying game against San Marino – an emphatic 10-0 victory – which also involved Harry Kane scoring four goals. Switzerland secured automatic qualification on the same day as Group C winners, ahead of Italy.

Netherlands booked their spot in Qatar with the final play-off slot on November 16 through a 2-0 win over Norway. Argentina qualified in the evening through a draw against Brazil and a Chile defeat to Ecuador.

Iran and South Korea qualified in 2022 as the top two finishing teams in the third round of Group A in AFC qualifying, while Japan and Saudi Arabia followed in March, as the top two teams in Group B.

Ecuador and Uruguay qualified on March 24 to become the third and fourth CONMEBOL teams to book their World Cup 2022 places.

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