The 2022 World Cup in Qatar in Historical Perspective by David Goldblatt

David Greenblatt

As part of a new CIRS research initiative, Building a Legacy: Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022, best selling British author, journalist, and sociologist, David Goldblatt, delieverd a lecture titled “The 2022 World Cup in Qatar in Historical Perspective,” at a public webinar on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at 6:00 pm.

This CIRS project is headed by sports and politics expert Dr. Danyel Reiche, who has joined GU-Q as a Visiting Professor from the American University of Beirut.  The CIRS research initiative seeks to explore the implications of staging one of the world’s largest sporting events on the social, political, and economic development of Qatar as well as on regional and global affairs. David Goldblatt placed Qatar’s upcoming tournament within the history of World Cups, and survey the politics, economic impacts, and urban development that have accompanied the games through time.

Reflecting on the importance of connecting Qatar’s investments in education to its national sports projects, the dean of GU-Q, Dr. Ahmad Dallal, noted, “This lecture is a part of our larger research strategy to observe the developments related to the World Cup from a social science lens. It is also a great example of the important place that research and analysis have in offering insight into the events and issues of our times for both academics and the general public alike.”

David Goldblatt said: “The 2022 World Cup promises a number of firsts: first to be held in December, first in a Muslim majority country, perhaps even the first carbon neutral tournament. But in many other ways, politically above all, it stands in a long tradition, almost a century now, of World Cups as global political spectacles.”

David Goldblatt is an honorary fellow at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture, De Montfort University, Leicester, U.K., teaches for the Geneva based Football Business Academy, and is a Visiting Professor at Pitzer College, Los Angeles. A widely published author, his book The Game of Our Lives: The Making and Meaning of English Football (2014), was the winner of the 2015 William Hill Sports book prize, and his latest book is The Age of Football: The Global Game in the 21st Century (2019).