There are many reasons why the Qatar World Cup — kicking off in a few weeks — is a colossally bad idea. And to be clear, this is not among the biggest ones. But it’s still not good.
Qatar has unveiled the first of its World Cup “fan villages” in Doha.
▪️ Up to 60,000 people
▪️ Twin single/One double bed
▪️ Mini-fridge, bathroom
▪️ Strict anti-alcohol policy
These Al-Emadi rooms cost $203 a night. pic.twitter.com/tFkI4Jh0Ww
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) November 9, 2022
I spent about five minutes trying to figure out how to describe this. My initial take was “trailer park,” but that would indicate the domiciles are mobile. Our brethren at Crossing Broad pointed out they resemble shipping containers, which they do. But I landed on storage lockers. The vibe reminds me of going to a CubeSmart to help a friend get some stuff.
Anyway … if FIFA is OK with this, it had better be OK with NJ Transit. Which is presumably the main potential hurdle the region needs to clear in order for MetLife Stadium to host the 2026 World Cup final. We have plenty of hotels, it’s legal to drink alcohol and we do not commit human rights violations with impunity. But moving people around on public transportation is admittedly an Achilles’ heel.
The Super Bowl was a disaster. WrestleMania was a disaster. Taylor Swift’s three Meadowlands shows in May will also probably be a disaster. But FIFA has proven time and time again it has no standards. So hopefully that holds a bit longer. Besides, if we don’t get the final, Philadelphia likely will.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]