JAMES M. DORSEY: The Middle East looms large as FIFA’s executive committee meets against the backdrop of a call for sweeping change.
JAMES M. DORSEY: The $744,000 pitch outside a $39 million penitentiary-style building is intended to reward the most cooperative of the 120,171 inmates.
MICH CAFE: Human Rights Watch have just published a report that highlights the deep discrimination against women in Saudi Arabia.
ANALYSIS: Qatar has a ‘poor’ Gini index. The Gini index measures how well income is actually divided within a society, the lower the score the better.
JAMES M. DORSEY: The outcome of FIFA’s dispute with Brazil and Russia is certain to shape the soccer body’s certainly forthcoming debate with Qatar.
JAMES M. DORSEY: Qatar has vowed to ensure that contractors involved in preparations for the 2022 World Cup will adhere to international labour laws
JAMES M. DORSEY: Alcohol has been banned on the Pearl Qatar, dubbed the ‘Arab Riviera’. It’s the latest manifestation of internal discord.
JAMES M. DORSEY: Sepp Blatter, a month after opening the door to an investigation of the Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid, has declared “case closed”.
JAMES M. DORSEY: In a worrying development for Qatar, the FIFA president has opened the door to a possible investigation into its successful World Cup bid.
JAMES M. DORSEY: Spain is rapidly emerging as a model for the offsets Qatar, Dubai and other energy-rich Gulf states hope to reap from their massive investments.
JAMES M. DORSEY: There’s resentment against Qatar hosting the WC because its riches allowed it to spend far more than its competitors
JAMES M. DORSEY: The UK parliamentary call for an independent investigation of the alleged Qatari bribery follows a similar call by the German FA.
DAVID ROBERTS: Not a good week for Qatar 2022. First, there are accusations of bribery in the bid process, now Citigroup tells us that Qataris will see now net economic benefit from hosting the world’s top prestige event.
MICH CAFE: I saw Sheikh Mohammed holding Sheikha Al Jalila on the night of the Dubai World Cup. It immediately reminded me of the 1978 photo of her mother in the arms of her uncle.
JAMES M. DORSEY: Bahraini sports clubs have dismissed at least 12 sports people and executives because they participated in anti-government demonstrations.
DAVID ROBERTS: Summer in Qatar is, as all of us who’ve experienced it know, not pleasant and the ideas to make it more amenable are pure science fiction.
SHABINA S. KHATRI: Qatar is a welfare state that financially-speaking takes care of its people. The 350,000 nationals enjoy an average per capita income of $75,000 annually.
JAMES DORSEY: Gaddafi intends the opening of the Benghazi stadium to be a show of popular support, but activists fear it could become the setting for clashes.
JAMES DORSEY: If Blatter’s admission is correct, those votes would account for seven of the 12 votes that won Qatar its right to host the world’s biggest sporting event.