If there was a sense of fate in the history of Argentina and Lionel Messi, the 2022 World Cup was also a triumph for the underdog.
Numerous upsets, the early killing of footballing giants and a team’s dizzying race to the semi-finals hinted at the fragility of the traditional footballing order.
It was of course an image that Qatar wanted to convey, not only in sporting terms, but also in the field of international politics.
And with the show now over, there is a feeling in some parts of the world that the Gulf State hosting an exciting tournament represents a major shift in the global system.
“Brotherhood, tolerance, solidarity” – Qatar, Iran, Morocco
From the beginning, Qatar has vigorously defended himself against critical of its right to organize such an event. Now he feels vindicated.
State news agency QNA said: “The dream has come true and has not been deflected from its path by distortion campaigns and malicious allegations.” The pro-government newspaper Al-Sharq said the event showed “fans a new face of Arab culture”.
It was a sentiment echoed at the top. Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani tweeted: “We have delivered on our promise to organize an exceptional tournament from Arab lands which has given the people of the world the opportunity to experience the richness of our culture and the authenticity of our values”.
The feeling of Arab pride was reinforced by the Morocco team heroism. Moroccan state television Al Aoula attributed this to a wider trend, saying the tournament hosted by Qatar “had a special flavor, seasoned with the culture of a people who did not abandon their roots and remained attached to its traditions, despite a thousand criticisms”.
He added that the tournament “will be remembered by all the peoples of the world, and future generations will learn how the Arabs managed to amaze the world with messages of brotherhood, tolerance and solidarity”.
In Iranthe strictly conservative Tasnim news agency said: “After all the twists and turns, the Qatar 2022 World Cup ended with victory for Argentina. However, Western media criticism of the Qataris continues.”
It also reflected the controversy surrounding Messi’s request to wear an Arabic Bisht (cloak) to receive the trophy, noting that when Pelé was asked to don a sombrero after the 1970 final in Mexico, it was “seen as a kind of cultural coexistence”.
“How, then, can dressing Messi in a bisht convey a different message now?” he asked.
“Geopolitical objective” – South America
In South America, to which the trophy will come back for the first time in 20 years, there was also a reflection on how the tournament revealed the co-dependency of politics and sport.
In Mexican Daily newspaper El Universal, columnist Mario Maldonado claimed the tournament had shown how football’s vast financial resources are shared unfairly.
“It is worth being clear: football is the most watched sport in the world, with a market of hundreds of millions of fans, and therefore one of the most profitable businesses… why does this business divide most of its resources between a tiny group of owners, directors, players, advertisers and broadcast rights holders? Couldn’t the football industry be more democratic?” Maldonado wrote.
In from Brazil Folha de Sao columnist Mathias Alencastro said the tournament was “contested and controversial” but also showed that Western countries were “increasingly unable to shape the opinion of the international community on a country, a regime or a culture”.
“Despite revolting scenes such as the persecution of [LGBTQ+] rainbow flags in the stadiums, the truth is that the cup has raised the profile and general awareness of the Qatari brand,” he added.
Alencastro also said neighbors Qatar benefited from the event, noting that Saudi Arabia would prepare bids to host the World Cup and the Olympics.
argentina Clarin also considered the importance of the tournament for the Gulf region, saying: “Qatar’s plan to invest in football is the same as that of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, who bought the British club Newcastle.
“The Saudi prince wants to organize the 2030 World Cup and seeks to conquer Fifa, despite his reputation.”
Colombia El Espectador noted that the day of the final, December 18, was International Migrants Day. He cites a UN statement that “migrants have proven to be a source of prosperity, innovation and sustainable development for countries of origin, transit and destination” – quoting the France team in Qatar World Cup final as an example.
‘A powerful message’ – Africa
An opinion piece on from Senegal The Sene News site praised “the sociability and hospitality of the Qataris” and said that the World Cup took place “in a warm, festive and festive atmosphere”.
“Yes, Qatar has sent a strong message to emerging countries: a nation can retain its cultural and religious values while remaining modern,” he said.
“No State should accept the dictatorship of the powerful and have ideologies, ways of seeing, doing and being imposed on it.”
The editor of from Liberia The private Front Page Africa website said the World Cup demonstrated continuing inequalities among Liberian youth, after public criticism that President George Weah traveled to Qatar to see his son play for the national team. American.
“But as we all applaud Tim Weah, let us also reflect on how, over the years, our young people in Liberia, especially those who have absolutely no other nationality or citizenship like Tim Weah, are consistently denied needed opportunities. to maximize their potential,” he said.
South Africa The Mail and Guardian online newspaper published a blog that declared Palestine the winners of the World Cup as various teams – including Morocco – regularly declared their support for the occupied state, adding: “It’s nice to see , especially since Fifa and UEFA are known to be tough-nosed when it comes to political issues. But Palestine is a human rights issue.
Ukraine & Russia
In Ukraine, the tournament took second place after the Russian invasion, now in its 10th month.
“I felt that I don’t like the passions of football like before because it’s a game,” MP Viktoria Siumar wrote on Facebook.
“It’s the first time in my life that I haven’t seen a single FIFA World Cup match,” former Luhansk regional governor and Georgiy Tuka said on Facebook.
In Russia, what was forbidden to participate, there was also a feeling that the tournament was missing out on the fans. According to an opinion poll, only 9% of Russians “regularly watch” the matches, and more than half said they do not follow the World Cup.
“The monopoly no longer exists”
China The official Xinhua News Agency published an article titled “Qatar World Cup – Winter Fairy Tale” which highlighted “the rise of Asia and Africa”, focusing on the success of the Moroccan Atlas Lions who “unleashed an overwhelming roar, turning a new page for African football”.
Xinhua also highlighted the “Chinese elements” of the World Cup, citing the “national pride of Qatar”, the Lusail stadium, Chinese referee Ma Ning who served as a fourth official in several matches, and electric buses Chinese who were “the main forces of public transport”. “.
The times of India said: “The FIFA World Cup Final will be remembered for a long time, thanks to the jaw-dropping thrills and drama it offered until the very end. Qatar can be proud to have delivered a great tournament after all the initial gripes about how he won the auction.”
The Indian Express, meanwhile, saw the symbolism in how Doha will once again be physically transformed following the tournament, with some stadiums removed.
“Some would be taken apart and reassembled in Africa, some would be waiting for their next moment of glory, when it would get all buzzing again,” he said.
“Some would be converted into offices, some would be rented out to local clubs. Some would remain as emblems of the days when Qatar hosted the World Cup. Perhaps more than the country, it is the stadiums that would shed tears of glory that passed, of the magic that was.”
An editorial in from pakistan The Daily Times said: “Doha has completely changed the whole narrative, in which the monopoly no longer belongs to the liberal West. Like it or not, the Gulf countries have decided to contribute their grain of salt .”