Bahrain 'will benefit from World Cup in Qatar'
Manama, July 15, 2014
Several people in Bahrain have rallied behind the 2022 World Cup being held in Qatar following an investigation into bribery allegations.
They believe Bahrain's economy will grow during the month-long football tournament if work on a causeway between the two nations is complete, but say the kingdom will not be affected if the bid is pulled from Doha, reported in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Fifa's official world cup sponsors and partners have called for an investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption after claims surfaced that a senior Qatari football official made payments to win the country's bid to host the world's biggest sporting event.
If corruption is proved, Qatar could be stripped of the cup or at least face a challenge to its position as host either through a re-vote or other processes.
The GDN has spoken to residents in Bahrain at a popular shopping mall about the potential relocation.
Flight controller Mohsin Milany believes holding the World Cup in Qatar was doable, but Fifa was making "excuses".
"Yes, I think Qatar will be a good host, but I don't think the possibility of relocation will negatively affect Bahrain's business and development," said the 28-year-old Bahraini.
"Bahrain would benefit from the World Cup, but its economy is strong enough to withstand relocation.
"If the World Cup remains in Qatar, I think it should not be postponed to winter.
"It is too hot in Brazil but they played games at later times and also split some games into quarters to allow for water breaks.
"The same can be done in Qatar, but I think they're just coming up with excuses not to have it here in the Middle East."
Adil Ahram, 18, believes stripping Qatar of hosting the cup now would be a waste of time and money.
"I think relocation is a safe option, but I don't agree with it as it'll waste time and money for both Qatar and the new host nation," he said.
"Bahrain's business and development will grow to an extent, but I don't think this will be very shocking growth levels.
"I think it'll only affect Bahrain in a very short time period and only if the plans for the Bahrain-Qatar Bridge are complete."
Client relations manager Sarath Chandran expects the country's economy to grow by more than 80 per cent during the global event.
"My opinion is that everyone should have a chance," said the 30-year-old.
"They have invested and planned to build so much so I don't think it should be relocated.
"Yes, Bahrain's business and development will be affected greatly, by more than 80 per cent.
"Qatar cannot accommodate all the sporting fans and so Bahrain has an opportunity.
"Bahrain is expecting to experience large economic growth during the 2022 World Cup because Bahrain and Qatar are planning on building a causeway."
However, an Italian resident said selecting Qatar was a mistake because of its scorching weather and lack of social freedom.
"There is no entertainment," said the man who wished to remain anonymous.
"People will go from one stadium to another stadium and then back to the hotel. This is what will be planned for the millions of people that are supposed to come and see the World Cup.
"The weather is another reason why the World Cup should not be in Qatar.
"Conditions in Brazil were too extreme as humidity reached over 90 per cent and this will be worse in Qatar because of the high humidity and high temperature.
"Since they have already found the vice president of Fifa as being corrupt, they should remove the World Cup from Qatar.
"Otherwise, the message will state that if you have money then you can get anything. This is not acceptable."
GCC secretary-general Dr Abdullatif Al Zayani last month attacked what he called a "biased media campaign" against Qatar.
Qatar also denied the corruption allegations which it said were timed to coincide with an investigation by Fifa into the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup and the one before it in Russia in 2018.
Former US prosecutor Michael Garcia, who is leading Fifa's internal investigation, is due to issue a report later this month after Germany was crowned 2014 World Cup champions on Sunday.
The World Cup has never been held in the Middle East before.
The GDN earlier reported that a consultancy firm has been commissioned to review the basic engineering designs of the planned 40km Bahrain-Qatar causeway. - TradeArabia News Service