The winner is … Qatar: curtain comes down on Project Hard Football Power | Barney Ronay

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It was costly, carbon-heavy, bloodstained and corruption-shadowed but this micromanaged power play couldn’t have gone much better for the hosts

“And the winner is … Qatar!” It all began with those words, read out in a tone of strangled gaiety by Sepp Blatter on stage at Fifa house. Twelve years on Qatar 2022 has now concluded with the same phrase hanging in the air.

Project Hard Football Power is complete. And it reallycould not have gone any better, a micromanaged power play, from the pharaonic-scale nation-building project, to the painted backdrop sets, to the regional visibility that helped see Qatar through the blockade years, to the chance at the death to parade Lionel Messi around the winners’ enclosure like a beaming Guy Fawkes dummy. The winner is … Qatar!

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Written by Barney Ronay in Doha
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/dec/19/the-winner-is-qatar-project-hard-football-power-world-cup-2022 under the title “The winner is … Qatar: curtain comes down on Project Hard Football Power | Barney Ronay”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.