Staff, 2022-11-12 02:33:11,
Al Jazeera’s sports reporter looks back at the World Cup, from the day Qatar won the bid to the final straight.
Doha, Qatar – It was text messages back in 2010, a memory that dates both the Qatar World Cup and me.
I was standing outside an exhibition centre in Zurich, stamping my feet to keep warm in between doing live reports for Al Jazeera. FIFA was about to announce the hosts for the 2022 World Cup.
My fingers were certainly getting a good workout as decision time got closer that snowy December day.
The inbox on my banged-up Nokia was filling up with notes from colleagues inside the toasty confines of the Messe Hall, and all had a similar refrain.
“Qatar think they might just have got it” would best summarise the overall sentiment. A live feed of the grand envelope opening was being fed into my ear as former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter stepped up to deliver the words that changed a nation forever.
“The winner to host the two twenty-two FIFA World Cup is Qatar!”
Not only did we have a new way of saying 2022, but football’s biggest tournament also had a new home.
The next day, a shivering press huddle gathered outside the hotel where Qatar’s bid team was staying. The head of the committee, Hassan Al Thawadi, took a few questions before leaving for the airport.
The main theme that morning was Qatar’s weather and the high temperatures in June…
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