The choice of Qatar to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup Finals was a controversial one.

How will such a small country cope with the demands of hundreds of thousands of travelling supporters?

How will Qatar deal with the 40°C temperatures in June and July 2022?

Qatar is a well organised football country. It has a referee structure professionally administered by Neji Jouini, a former FIFA World Cup Referee, supported by a strong Referee Committee which includes Hani Balan, a FIFA RAP Instructor,  AFC Elite Referee Instructor and member of the AFC Referee Committee.

Of course Qatar is a wealthy country but wealth does not always equate to professional organisation.

I was privileged to attend the recent Heir Apparent Cup Final between Al Arabi and Ah Gharafa in Doha. The quality of the football was not particularly outstanding but the intensity was the same as you find anywhere in the world.

What particularly impressed me, however, was the referee meeting the following day at the Qatar Olympic Association Headquarters.

A detailed analysis of matches which had taken place so far in the Qatar Stars League was made by the Qatari Referee Committee Observers using Prozone, the leading system for match analysis in world football.

Statistics were available on how far the referee ran during the match and how far away he was from the ball on critical decisions.

Qatar FA Referee Fitness Instructors also showed the movement of referees by using special video cameras and how movement could be improved by changing running techniques.

It was a highly professional presentation which would stand comparison with any other association in world football.

We tend to be blinded by what happens in football in England, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Germany and Argentina for example, but football is a global game and size is not everything.

  • Share/Bookmark