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World Cup leads to closer ties among Gulf states

Monday, December 19, 2022


The World Cup marked an opportunity for Qatar to bolster its soft power and its role as a global sporting and tourism destination. Although the tournament brought a wave of criticism from the West, it rallied support for “the Arab World Cup”, with Gulf governments throwing their weight behind Doha.


  • Western criticism of Qatar is unlikely to discourage other Gulf states from hosting global sporting events.
  • Renewed support for the Palestinians is unlikely to materialise from Arab leaders.
  • Football in the Gulf states, despite high wages on offer, will remain on the periphery of the global game.

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