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World Cup leads to closer ties among Gulf states

Monday, December 19, 2022

Significance

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.

Impacts

  • 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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