If Argentina and Lionel Messi’s storyline had a sense of destiny, the 2022 World Cup was likewise a win for the underdog.
The fragility of the established footballing hierarchy was hinted at by numerous upsets, the early demise of footballing giants, and one team’s astonishing journey to the semifinals.
Of course, Qatar wants to project this image in terms of international politics as well as in the sporting world.
And now that the event has concluded, there is a perception in some areas of the world that the Gulf state’s hosting of an exciting tournament signifies a significant change in the world order.
‘Brotherhood, tolerance, solidarity – Qatar, Iran, Morocco
Qatar has aggressively rebutted criticism of its right to have such an event since the outset. It now feels justified.
The dream has materialized and hasn’t been sidetracked off its course by misinformation efforts and false accusations, according to the state news agency QNA. The event, according to the pro-government Al-Sharq daily, introduced “fans to a new face of Arab culture.”
This idea was shared at the very top. “We have kept our pledge to organize amazing tournaments from Arab nations that allowed the world’s people the opportunity to get to know the richness of our culture and the authenticity of our beliefs,” Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani wrote on Twitter.
The heroics of the Moroccan team served to increase Arab pride. The Qatar-hosted tournament, according to Morocco’s state-run Al Aoula TV, “had a special flavor seasoned with the culture of a people who did not renounce their roots, and who remained true to their traditions, despite a thousand critics.” Al Aoula TV connected this to a larger trend.
The tournament, it continued, “will be remembered by all peoples of the world, and future generations will learn how the Arabs have succeeded in astonish[ing] the world with messages of fraternity, tolerance, and solidarity.”
According to Iran’s avowedly conservative Tasnim news agency: “After all the turns and turns, Argentina won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. However, the Qataris continue to face criticism in Western media.”
It also discussed the controversy surrounding Messi’s decision to accept the trophy while donning an Arab Bisht (cloak), adding that Pele’s decision to do the same after the 1970 Mexican championship was “considered a form of cultural coexistence”.
It questioned, “How then can Messi wearing a bisht suddenly transmit a different message?”
‘Geopolitical goal’ – South America
A lot of thought was given to how the competition demonstrated the interdependence of politics and sport in South America, where the trophy will be presented for the first time in 20 years.
The competition, according to Mario Maldonado, a journalist for the Mexican newspaper El Universal, demonstrated how unfairly the immense financial riches of football are distributed.
“Football is the most watched sport in the world, with a market of hundreds of millions of fans, and it is also one of the most successful industries, it is important to state the obvious. Why does this company split up the majority of its assets among a tiny group of owners, directors, players, sponsors, and broadcasting rights holders? Couldn’t the football industry be more democratic?” Maldonado composed.
The tournament was “contested and divisive,” but also demonstrated that Western nations were “increasingly incapable of influencing the view of the international community about a country, a government, or a culture,” according to journalist Mathias Alencastro of Brazil’s Folha de Sao.
“The truth is that the cup boosted the reputation of, and public understanding of, the Qatari brand,” he said, “despite repugnant spectacles like the harassment of [LGBTQ+] rainbow flags in the stadiums.
In addition, Alencastro claimed that the event had benefited Qatar’s neighbors noting that Saudi Arabia is reportedly putting together bids to host the World Cup and the Olympics.
The significance of the event for the Gulf region was also taken into account by Argentina’s Clarin, who stated: “Qatar’s ambition of investing in football is the same as that of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, which has purchased the British team Newcastle.
The Saudi prince, despite his reputation, wants to host the 2030 World Cup and seeks to dominate Fifa.
The 18th of December, the day of the final, was International Migrants’ Day, according to Colombia’s El Espectador. The article cited a UN statement that cited the France team’s performance in the Qatar World Cup final as evidence that “migrants have shown themselves to be a source of prosperity, creativity, and sustainable development for the nations of origin, transit, and destination.”
‘A powerful message’ – Africa
The “sociability and friendliness of Qataris” were praised in an opinion post published on the Sene News website in Senegal, which also said that the World Cup took place “in a warm, joyful, and festive atmosphere.”
Yes, it added, “Qatar has delivered a strong message to developing nations: a country may maintain its cultural and religious values while staying modern.”
No state should consent to the tyranny of the wealthy and try to impose its ideologies and methods of thinking, acting, and being.
After receiving public criticism for traveling to Qatar to watch his son play for the US national team, President George Weah was quoted by the editor of Liberia’s privately owned Front Page Africa website as saying that the World Cup showed persisting inequality among Liberian children.
As we all applaud Tim Weah, the statement continued, “let us also consider how, throughout the years, our young people in Liberia—especially those who categorically lack any other nationality or citizenship, like Tim Weah—are continuously denied the necessary opportunity to maximize their potential.
As several teams, including Morocco, frequently expressed support for the occupied state, the Mail and Guardian online newspaper in South Africa published a blog in which it declared Palestine the World Cup’s victor. It added: “It is lovely to see, especially considering that Fifa and Uefa are infamous for being cynical about political issues. Palestine, however, is a human rights issue.”