DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar’s media on Friday hailed the “guts, gumption and glory” of the tiny Gulf Arab State’s victory in securing rights to host the 2022 World Cup.
“The young bid team successfully swayed FIFA’s ageing executive committee with promises of a colourful, compact and carbon-neutral World Cup,” The Peninsula newspaper said on their front page.
That Qatar was able to persuade FIFA decision makers came as a surprise to many, and the country rejoiced exuberantly on Thursday night in outdoor cafes and along its seaside corniche.
“The crescendo of car horns reflected the mood of a proud nation last night,” the Gulf Times stated.
Some, though, advocated getting straight down to business. “We did it, now let’s get down to work,” was the title of an editorial piece in The Peninsula.
Over the next five years, Qatar will build a $25 billion rail network, an $11 billion new airport, a $5.5 billion new deep water seaport and a $1 billion crossing linking its new airport with mega-projects in the northern part of Doha. It will also spend an additional $20 billion on new roads.
Others reassured local readers that the event will pose no threat to traditional Qatari customs.
“We are already living with people from so many nationalities, so visitors coming from various countries around the world would not pose any threat to Qatari identity and culture,” Sheikha Al Jafairi, a member of the Central Municipal Council, told The Peninsula.
Reporting by Regan E. Doherty; Editing by Justin Palmer