It’s an exciting December for football in the Arab Gulf and Middle East indeed. After closely covering the progress of the Qatar World Cup Bid 2022 on Khaleejesque, it’s an honor to say that Qatar has officially won the bid to host the World Cup in 2022. The spectacular presentation by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser and Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Thani was a testament to Qatar’s willingness to host an innovative World Cup regardless of the many obstactles speculators brought up. The presentation was a final demonstration to persuade the committee, and with the ambitious plans they showcased it was difficult to not be impressed.
FIFA president Joseph Blatter stunned the world when he announced that Qatar beat the heavyweight contenders United States, Australia, Korea Republic and Japan to host the World Cup in 2022. It will be the first time for the World Cup to take place in the Middle East and development plans are already under way. With climate controlled stadiums and a myriad of modern transportation modes, the World Cup in 2022 will definitely be an event to look forward to.
On the other hand, Gulf Cup 2010 displayed exciting matches in Aden, Yemen. Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Yemen had impressive teams and their performances only got better as the championship moved on. The final match between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait was the most nerve wracking as the powerful contenders battled each other on the field for 90 minutes without either scoring. Kuwait’s Waleed Ali blasted a goal during the extra time which ignited the match even more leaving the final few minutes unbearable for both players and viewers. In the end, Kuwait won the match 1-0 and won the Gulf Cup for a record 10th time since its beginning in 1970.
It’s been a long-awaited celebration for Kuwait who have not won the Gulf Cup since 1998 and the recent win has restored their faith in the national team who have amazed international viewers everywhere. The football fever isn’t going anywhere anytime soon since the AFC Asian Cup is coming up in January 7, 2011. Here’s to hoping the Arab Gulf countries make their mark in the upcoming championship!