Qatar and the economic significance of hosting the world cup

Very good video from The Economist about Qatar hosting the most expensive World Cup ever – approximately $300bn. Why has this small, gas-rich kingdom chosen to host football’s most prestigious event, and how does it fit into its broader plans for economic transformation? The video below explains the history behind Qatar,

The tournament is a big deal for a country that has fewer than three million residents. For the 2018 tournament, held in Russia, football’s governing body, FIFA, says more than one billion people tuned in to watch at least some of the final game between France and Croatia. However, academic research into the economic impact of hosting the World Cup suggests any advantages gained are at best hard to perceive and at worst non-existent. Since it won the bid to host Qatar has built eight new stadiums, more roads, hospitals and a new metro system. However the criticisms on human rights are not going away.

For Andrew Zimbalist, the author of Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup, the evidence is clear: “There is virtual unanimity in the scholarship that on the question of the economic impact of mega events, they don’t promote economic development.”

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