Unlike Russia or Brazil, Qatar is the smallest country hosting World Cup matches, where you can commute between stadiums to watch matches in less than an hour to reach the furthest stadium, and is connected to a subway line.
The area of Qatar is approximately 44,000 square miles, which is equivalent to the size of the US state of Connecticut, while the area of Russia, which hosted the 2018 tournament, is approximately 6.3 million square miles, which is approximately 1,500 times the area of Qatar, while the area of Brazil, which hosted the 2014 tournament, is 3.2 million square miles, or 727 times the area of Qatar, according to a report published by a newspaper Washington Post.
The report said the matches in Qatar had caused “some inconvenience in the capital, Doha, which suffers from heavy traffic”, especially with the influx of teams’ fans via the metro lines.
He points out that this year’s World Cup is different from the 2018 World Cup, when Russia then spread the matches across 9 stadiums across the country, some of which required a full day’s journey by train.
To accommodate the large number of fans, Qatar has provided several options for accommodation, as there are hotels that charge more than a thousand dollars a night, and others that reside in cruise ships docked near Doha, as well as providing low-cost apartments, not to mention the residence of some in the neighboring Gulf countries who travel to Doha to watch the matches.
The report said that the intense pressure imposed by the tournament on Qatar led to finding “innovative solutions”, as it established 7 giant stadiums, but because the country did not need this number of stadiums, “Stadium 974”, which hosts about 40,000 people, was built from shipping containers and will be dismantled after the tournament and installed in another country.
The report recalls that, despite the stadiums that evoke the country’s culture, their construction has come at a heavy human cost, and human rights groups say that thousands of people have been killed or injured since the preparations began in recent years.
Qatar has been targeted for deaths, accidents and non-payment of foreign workers, and Qatar has passed major reforms to improve worker safety and hold companies accountable for failing to meet standards, according to an AFP report.
The authorities have paid hundreds of millions of euros to compensate for wage delays, but human rights organizations have deemed these reforms to be late and insufficient.