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Gary Neville in Qatar – Documentary Review


This documentary looks at the underlying issue surrounding the human rights issues within Qatar. Gary Neville goes to look at what problems are happening and whether Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 Football World Cup unfairly and whether corruption played a role in the World Cup bid success. Gary highlights the issues that could be faced when tourists visit to watch the games. If fans start to act anti-social in this country there will be different consequences that they will face, as to what they would if they were in their home country. 

A big problem highlighted in this documentary was that the visiting nations will have to respect the culture of Qatar and will have to remember the important differences such as the difference in views towards women and the difference in views towards alcohol. As Gary highlighted in the documentary, the consumption of alcohol alongside watching a football match goes hand in hand with certain nations such as England, who have a fan culture which is associated with drinking. 

Another issue that was looked at was the prices that are being charged by those who will be seeking alcohol, as these fans could be looking at paying around £16 for a drink. They will also be looking at a struggle with traffic as the country has all the stadiums hosting games at the World Cup within an hour proximity of one another. With the city already having traffic problems this could result in these problems being worsened by the influx of tourists who will be attending games at the stadiums. 

Perhaps the biggest issue raised was the estimate that around 4,000 people will die as a result of building the stadiums before a ball has been kicked. To have people risking their lives to build stadiums for other people to enjoy is not a fair exchange for these workers. Neville also visited migrant workers who had been brought to the country in order to contribute to building the stadiums. These workers had been charged around $2000-$3000 to come to the company through agencies and they were informed of their recruitment fees being returned. When asked they said that the fees had been enquired about for around two years and they had still not received the money back.  

Although the negatives and risks were highlighted, there were also some positives for fans to look forward to who will be attending. The city of Doha looks to have a vigorous atmosphere which will be ideal for fans who will be visiting from all over the world. There will also be much interest in the activities which tourists can partake in such as camel rides and dune ride experiences within the desert. By having these cultural excursions, it will pose as a place which will certainly be of interest to tourists who will be looking for activities when they are not at the games which they will be attending. When travelling within the city, throughout it, there was beautiful infrastructure everywhere which would be of interest to tourists who will be looking to visit picturesque locations as well as being there for the World Cup.  

One stadium which cost Qatar one billion dollars to build, has a distinctive curve around the outside of it. With the eccentric design this stadium will certainly be host to some big games and will be talked about due to the cost and time it has taken, however after the tournament has finished, it will be taken down and no longer used so the government has decided to donate the seats to save them from going to waste. This decision, although thoughtful in one respect, does seem to be an almost pointless use of money, as this money could have been used in other areas of the country and for greater causes. The decision to try and bring the spotlight onto Asian football appears to be at a costly price, both financially and ethically for the country.  

Overall, the view coming from the documentary was that the tournament could provide many problems for the country, if the visiting tourists are not respectful to their beliefs and the culture but it will make for an interesting analysation after the tournament is over to see the outcome. For this country hosting the biggest tournament in sport could prove to be difficult but only if trouble is created by others. The attempt to promote Qatari football is one of the main aims for this tournament and as it will put Qatar at centre stage in front of the entire world, it could be a positive step forward for the country. If they avoid any controversy, considering how many things could cause problems it will be an achievement for sure but hopefully football will be the main talking point after the final whistle. 

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July 2024