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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Qatar's Asian Cup is a qualified success

Put forward as a dress rehearsal for the 2022 World Cup, the 2011 Asian Cup was nothing of that sort. Everything was going smooth and fine till there were complaints with fans being locked out for the final with lots of empty rows in the stadium. However overall it was a job well done by Qatar and we can expect a great show in 2022.

The final game between Japan and Australia was deserving to be called one. Like I had said in my previous post Australia looked like a complete Asian team and if someone looked like challenging them it was Japan and they did it. Australia didn't take their chances and Lee Tadanari made them pay when he scored from a well controlled shot on 109'. There were no other goals and Japan won the Asian cup for the 4th time.

The oil rich middle east nation of Qatar put up a show which was truly admirable. However the number of people turning up to the stadium is a major issue as people would prefer to sit at home and watch Real madrid or Barcelona rather than come out and support their team. This problem might be solved during the World Cup with a lot of visitors coming in. The distance between the stadiums will be a relief for everyone and fans might be able to sneak into all 3 games played on any particular day. Temperatures soaring to a high of 50C will be a major worry but Qatar has promised to aircondition all the stadiums. You can aircondition the stadiums but can you aircondition the whole country?  Another solution that has been put forward is moving the world cup to the winter months of January. This thought has already ruffled a few feathers.

For now the Asian Cup has passed off without adding more fuel to the critics' fire. What has become clear at the Asian Cup is that Qatar, for better or worse, will produce a World Cup like no other.

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