President of FIFA Gianni Infantino (R) and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (L) give the trophy to players of Algeria after the FIFA Arab Cup final match between Algeria and Tunisia at Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor, Qatar on December 18, 2021. Photo by Mohammed Dabbous, Anadolu Images

World Cup in Qatar: Sports Diplomacy as a Soft Power Instrument

Sports has been one of Qatar's leading soft power tools and the country advertises itself through sports as it has a magic transcending politics.

During a visit to Europe while young, the former emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa was asked by an immigration officer at a European airport where the state of Qatar was located. Today, there is an airport in Qatar named after him, the Hamad International Airport, and Qatar has become a well-known Middle Eastern country, especially after its political role in the Arab Spring and its remarkable successes in the fields of media, energy, and diplomacy. As a strategy, Qatar makes use of soft power tools, including sports. The country’s emir and his close advisors realize the importance of sports diplomacy in achieving the country’s goals of becoming a regional sports hub.

Qatar has invested time and effort, showing a massive capacity in order to gain the rights to organize the FIFA 2022 World Cup, one of the world’s most important global sports events. Qatar will become the first country in the region to host this major sports event.

Read more: World Cup in Qatar: Sports Diplomacy as a Soft Power Instrument

[Politics Today, February 8, 2022]

In this article