In the past two decades, FIFA have taken their prized possession the World Cup to new frontiers. From South Korea and Japan to Germany, South Africa to Russia. Now it’s time for the first ever Middle Eastern World Cup in Qatar.
Compactness. It will be the most compact World Cup in history. For the first time four matches will be played a day, across eight different stadiums (seven of them brand new). Fans will be able to travel to games using a newly constructed metro and the local taxi company Karwa (Uber also operates).
Heat. With average lows of 66°F and highs of 75°F, fans will need to not only remember sunscreen but a sweater as well. Especially if the hosts still plan on using the air conditioning systems they have devised for the competition. Initially conceptualized for the summer, even though the event is now being played in the winter they will likely still use it – and it can get chilly!
Noise. But if the atmosphere at the recent Arab Cup at the end of last year is anything to go by, it showed supporters in this region are ready to bring plenty of noise and color to the proceedings.
Protests? In such a small area it will be interesting to see how fans supporting 32 nations will interact and how they will be policed. Qatar has been constantly criticized for their poor human rights record. Will there be protests off and on the pitch during the tournament?