Football in Qatar (and the MENA region): How influence was built and what other sports can learn from its growth

James Stibbs and Toby Hanscomb

This case study examines the rise of Middle Eastern influence in the sport of football. In particular, it asks how a sport only introduced to Qatar in 1948 – and whose national team played their first game just 50 years ago – will host the world’s premier football event – the FIFA World Cup – in 2022. It looks at what is driving the country’s investment in sport and what that investment is delivering. Finally, it presents lessons to other sports, as well as potential barriers to further progress.