- The huge expenditure on mediation efforts;
- Qatar’s exposure to embarrassment and criticism as a result of the mixed results of its mediation efforts, its relations with controversial groups and the fall-out of its successful bid for the 2022 World Cup hosting rights;
- A belief that a large portion of Qatar’s wealth should be invested domestically in things like health care, job creation for Qataris and education;
- Unfulfilled promises of change that would give Qataris a greater say in their country’s affairs;
- A stark increase in foreign labour to complete ambitious infrastructure projects many of which are World Cup-related and have exposed Qatar for the first time to real external pressure for social change;
- More liberal catering to Western expatriates by allowing the controlled sale of alcohol and pork in violation of religious restrictions;
- Potential tacit concessions Qatar may have to make to non-Muslim soccer fans during the World Cup, including expanded areas where consumption of alcohol would be allowed, public rowdiness and dress codes largely unseen in the Gulf state, and the presence of gays.
The Globalist's Top Ten Books in 2016: The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer
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