The World Cup isn’t over, but Qatar already has its sights set on the only comparable global sports tournament.
The Middle Eastern nation is making a bid for the 2036 Summer Olympics on the premise that it believes this year’s World Cup shows the country’s ability to host an event of that scale.
- In preparation for the World Cup, awarded by FIFA in 2010, Qatar built seven new stadiums and refurbished one more.
- The country spent at least $229 billion on the stadiums, a new subway system, and other infrastructure in preparation for the World Cup.
- Qatar hosted the Asian Games, an Olympics-like competition, in 2006 and will do so again in 2030.
Qatar’s hosting has raised numerous issues, chief among them the treatment of migrant workers, who provided the main construction force for the stadiums.
The Guardian reported that at least 6,500 migrant workers died since the country was awarded the World Cup, and, per the ESPN documentary “Qatar’s World Cup,” the government has avoided compensating their families by attributing the deaths to natural causes.
Qatar recently raised its estimate of migrant worker deaths from 40 to 400-500.
Qatar has also drawn attention for its struggle to accommodate over one million World Cup tourists, and its treatment of LGBTQ people and journalists.
The country will have competition for the Summer Games, which will take place in Paris in 2024, Los Angeles in 2028, and Brisbane in 2032.
India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Germany have all shown interest in bidding for the Olympics.