Islam in Qatar explained ahead of FIFA World Cup
Qatar’s first all-Muslim squad for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Football World Cup – Qatari’s equivalent of the Olympic Games – takes to the field at the Al Khor City Stadium in Doha on January 21,2019. (Photo: QNA)
The Qatari Football World Cup will be played in a country where the only non-muslim in the 2018 football World Cup was the national team’s assistant coach, who had to be told by a security guard that he was ineligible.
Qatar, a kingdom in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), has seen an upsurge in non-Muslim immigration and a resurgence of interest in Middle Eastern sports.
The kingdom, which has a population of 7.5 million, has one of the lowest populations of Arabs or Muslims anywhere in the world, and it is home to the only non-Muslim referee appointed to officiate the world cup.
Despite its Muslim population being roughly the same size as the Christian population in the kingdom, Qatar has decided not to allow the country to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“I have not met people who are Muslims who do not want this World Cup, and they don’t want to visit Qatar,” said Haitham al-Haddad, a football commentator and media commentator.
In a country where many of the football world’s leading stars are Arab, Haddad believes the decision to not host the tournament was political.
“People have decided to boycott the World Cup because the Qatari government doesn’t accept a large part of the Muslim population being in Qatar as foreigners,” Haddad told RT.
‘Qatar should have refused’
According to the Gulf News, the 2018 World Cup was a failure for FIFA, with Qatar failing to win a single match, despite being the only Arab territory to have hosted a World Cup.
“In 2018, Qatar was an absolute disgrace, it is not the same level as the Netherlands, which is a very successful nation,” said Mohammed al-Yousif, a journalist working with the Gulf News.
“It is similar to Australia and New Zealand, which should have been excluded,” al-Yousif told RT.
According to al-Yousif, both the