Half the size of the enormous per capita income in Hesse

A first in sports: From November 20 to December 18, 32 teams will play in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup title. In the preliminary round, there will be eight groups of four participants in each group. The two best teams advance to the round of 16.

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Read more after the announcement

Qatar will play the opening match against Ecuador on Sunday (November 20), and the match will start at 5 pm. The German national team will play the following matches in Group E: on Wednesday (November 23, 2pm) against Japan at Khalifa International Stadium (live on Erste); On Sunday (November 27, 8pm) against Spain at Home Stadium (ZDF) and Thursday (December 1, 8pm) against Costa Rica at Home Stadium (ARD).

The game will be played in a host country that has been the subject of much talk and writing for weeks, but will likely be completely unknown to many. Here are the most important facts.

Eight courts in a very small space

The World Cup has never happened in such a small country. The desert emirate of Qatar covers an area of ​​11,586 square kilometers, which is smaller than Schleswig-Holstein (15,763 square kilometers) and just over half the size of Hesse (21,115 square kilometers). The match will be held in eight stadiums, three of which are in the capital, Doha.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

Lusail Stadium in Doha: 80,000 people accommodate. On December 18, 2022, the new world champion will be decided here.

Where does Qatar’s wealth come from?

Only eleven percent of the 2.6 to 2.9 million population call themselves Qatari. The others are mostly poor Asian migrant workers. According to the United Nations, Qatar has the highest “visitor worker” rate in the world. Many of them – whether on construction sites for World Cup matches, as domestic workers or in other “menial” jobs – toil for pennies under conditions highly criticized by human rights organisations.

With huge gas and oil reserves, the emirate has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world: in 2020, it was about $96,000. Qatar is one of the world’s largest exporters of liquefied natural gas.

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Read more after the announcement

Who is in power in Qatar?

Qatar is an absolute monarchy. The Al Thani family, Bedouin in origin, has held power in the country since the early 19th century. The current Head of State is Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who took office in 2013 at the age of 33.

During World War I, the Al Thani made treaties with England and became a British protectorate. It has been independent from Great Britain since 1971. Of the roughly 300,000 Qataris, about 60,000 or 70,000 belong to the vast ruling Al Thani family, which holds almost all important posts in politics and business.

How interested are Qataris in football?

Football in the Arab world is an increasingly popular imported commodity. It is known that the Paris Saint-Germain club is owned by Qatar. A Qatari TV station also broadcasts important European leagues, including the Bundesliga, in the Arab region and not only aroused greater interest in golf in the Gulf, but also had an additional impact on European football.

The cooperation between FC Bayern Munich and the Principality is known and criticized a lot. But traditionally, people in Qatar are interested in sports such as horse and camel racing or falconry.

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Read more after the announcement

What is the air temperature in Qatar?

The maximum temperature for Doha on Sunday, November 20, the day of the opening match, is expected to be 28 degrees. In the evening (Qatar 2 hours before our time) temperatures should be a nice 22 degrees.

However, there was no alternative to moving the World Cup to the winter months. Maximum temperatures in June or July are between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius, when the World Cup tournaments are usually held. Even if it is not necessary: ​​modern stadiums have air conditioning systems and can be cooled if necessary.

Should gays be afraid of Qatar?

In general, same-sex relations are prohibited in Qatar, as is the practice of promiscuous sex. Violations can be prosecuted. However, Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Shalifa al-Thani gave Federal Interior Minister Nancy Visser a security guarantee for every visitor, including members of the LGBTQ community, during their visit at the end of October. In addition, the rainbow flag can also be displayed in stadiums.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

However, Wenzel Michalski, Germany director for Human Rights Watch, told Sky there was too much risk in showing same-sex love. Not only on the street, but also on the Internet. According to Michalsky, the Qatari authorities read on social media whenever they want. Under Qatari law, acts of same-sex love can be punished with up to seven years in prison.

What are the recommended Qatari documentaries?

There are currently a number of films about Qatar and the World Cup worth watching in media libraries and streaming services. Jochen Breyer’s film “Geheimsache Qatar” (ZDF Mediathek) raised a lot of dust in front of the camera due to homophobic remarks by Qatar’s ambassador to the World Cup. The 45-minute film is also a powerful piece of critical investigative journalism. A good introduction to Qatar and how it operates is the 45-minute documentary “Qatar Undercover – Business Acumen, Gas and Megalomania” (also ZDF Mediathek).

In the four times 30-minute documentary series Qatar – A World Cup of Shame, ARD addresses the corrupt system of World Cup awarding, while Thomas Hitzlsberger focuses on the human rights situation in his critical travel report Qatar – Why Only? (ARD Mediathek). In the desert state and around the World Cup.

The documentary ‘A Red Card Instead of a Rainbow – Gays in Qatar’ (18 November, 7.30pm, available then on RTL+) examines the human rights situation of the LGBT community. However, a Netflix subscription is required for one of the best documentaries right now about the history and entanglements of FIFA: “FIFA Undercover” is a fantastic four-time British documentary series around 45 minutes long (Netflix).


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