If Qatar was going to be stripped of the tournament, it would have happened in the last seven years, not the next five.
And it is telling that much of the Western media continues to train its outrage on the Qatari bid itself, and the accusations of vote-buying in the Fifa executive committee.
A few years ago, the country’s Central Municipal Council proposed designating Friday - most workers’ only day off - a “family day”, during which non-Qataris would be banned from entering the country’s many popular shopping malls. And in five years’ time, this is the country that will throw open its arms and host the biggest footballing party on Earth.To understand why, you need to understand the demographics of Qatar.Fifty years ago, you could have quite comfortably seated the entire country in one of their swanky new World Cup stadiums. You sell some land, empty your savings, lean on your extended family for support, and borrow the rest against future earnings. But with your handsome salary, you reckon you’ll be able to break even and start sending money home within a few months. Alas, when you land in Doha, the goalposts have shifted slightly. Talking to other migrant workers in one of the many makeshift camps dotted around the outskirts of Doha, you find others who are having money withheld for two, three, sometimes even six months. Co-workers keel over, and within minutes they’ve been spirited away under a thick blanket, declared “absent” and never seen again. There’s a small recruitment fee to be paid, plus the cost of your orientation seminar, medical examination, insurance.He’ll even act as a reference if you need a bank loan. Yet at the same time, the sheer relentlessness of depressing news coming out of the region has anaesthetised us to it. Last week, the charity Human Rights Watch issued its latest report into the conditions of migrant workers in Qatar. And so over the years, Qatar 2022 has slipped down the emotional radar, swallowed up by newer, sexier Bad Things.