The rise of mega sports events in the Persian Gulf Region: risks and opportunities of the 2022 World Cup

Azzali, Simona, and Tomba, Mattia (2018) The rise of mega sports events in the Persian Gulf Region: risks and opportunities of the 2022 World Cup. In: [Presented at InterAsian Connections VI]. From: InterAsian Connections VI, 4-7 December 2018, Hanoi, Vietnam.

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Abstract

The number of mega sports events in the Persian Gulf Region has been exponentially increasing for the last fifteen years. But it is particularly the state of Qatar that has invested consistently in the sports industry. This process of sportification has started with the Asian Games held in 2006 and will culminate with the stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. For the first time in the history, the tournament will be hosted in the Middle East, and, with an estimated cost of 220 billion US$, the economic impact of this edition of the Cup is going to be unprecedented. The research aims to analyse the effectiveness of hosting mega sports events as facilitators of intra-regional connections. Particularly, the study will investigate risks and opportunities relating the economic impact; the effectiveness of the Cup to re-brand Qatar internationally; and the evolution of the diplomatic relationships among the six counties of the Gulf Cooperation Council (i.e. Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman). The article argues the event will have a negative impact on Qatar. The aim of using sport to diversify the economy and affirm Qatar internationally as a modern and powerful country is turning out to have a boomerang effect. Indeed, just after the award to stage the event, allegations of human rights issues and concerns about Qatar's harsh weather arose. Also, accusations of corruption have been made relating to how Qatar won the right to host the event. In addition, the award to stage the Cup has been accelerating a process of disaggregation among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, being this one of the reasons that caused, in June 2017, the biggest political crisis to hit the Middle East in years and ended in breaking diplomatic ties between Qatar and four Arab countries.

Item ID: 56551
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: mega sport events; Doha, World Cup 2022; InterAsian Connections; Qatar
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Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2018 23:53
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1504 Commercial Services > 150404 Sport and Leisure Management @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160514 Urban Policy @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1606 Political Science > 160607 International Relations @ 30%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950102 Organised Sports @ 30%
87 CONSTRUCTION > 8701 Construction Planning > 870105 Urban Planning @ 30%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9403 International Relations > 940399 International Relations not elsewhere classified @ 40%
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