The Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 in November and December will be the first World Cup in the Middle East. This CIRS research initiative provides a platform for academic engagement with the tournament. Under the guidance of GU-Q Visiting Associate Professor Danyel Reiche, the initiative examines the implications of staging “the world’s greatest sporting event” on the social, political, and economic development of Qatar as well as on regional and global affairs. This CIRS project builds on the center’s previous research initiatives related to sports and society in the region. “Sport, Society and the State in the Middle East” and “Football in the Middle East” both resulted in edited volumes containing original research: Sport, Politics, and Society in the Middle (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2019) and Football in the Middle East (Forthcoming).
This project examines how Qatar is not only competing with traditional centers of global sport but also pursuing broader aims, such as contributing to national reputation and security. By hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 and other major sporting events, launching the beIN Sports global network of sports channels, sponsoring soccer clubs all over the world (i.e. Bayern Munich via Qatar Airways), and owning the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain via Qatar Sports Investment (QSI), Qatar has strongly positioned itself in international sports networks.
This CIRS research initiative follows a multidisciplinary approach to studying Qatar, sport, and society, and will also include comparative analysis between the 2022 FIFA World Cup and previous ones. The research initiative webpage houses a variety of academic research and scholarly commentary on all issues related to the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 tournament, including expert blog posts and analytical articles by our network of regional and global scholars as well as a podcast series and interviews with major stakeholders involved in global football and in the organization of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.