As Qataris celebrate their success in the 2022 World Cup bid and media outlets offer extensive coverage of the Gulf nation’s historic achievement, Egyptian scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi saw this triumph as a victory for Muslims worldwide over the United States.
The FIFA announcement that Qatar is awarded hosting the 2022 World Cup represents the first time a Muslim country defeats the United States, the Doha-based Egyptian scholar and Islamic lecturer Yusuf al-Qaradawi said in his last Friday sermon.
“Qatar’s triumph is like a slap on the face of the United States and the proof is President Obama’s statements about how choosing Qatar was a mistake,” he told Muslim worshippers Friday.
Qaradawi explained that the United States objection to awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup demonstrates how the superpower wants to monopolize all world renowned events and exclude the Arab world.
“The United States wants to brush Arabs aside in all fields, whether military or economic or even sports.”
He added that the determination of Qataris to win the vote encouraged him to follow the updates on the Qatari file.
“I sat in front of the screen and waited for the results like all Qataris did.”
Qaradawi expressed his admiration for Qatar’s ability to face fierce competition and the implications of this triumph for the entire region.
“This victory makes the Middle East rebel against marginalization because it is the cradle of civilizations and the place where religions started.”
Despite not being generally interested in football and believing that people should care about more important issues, Qaradawi sees the victory as a symbol of Arab and Muslim perseverance as well as the possibility of defeating superpowers.
“That is why I wanted Qatar to win and at that time I wished the United States would eventually fail,” he concluded.
Qatar’s triumph is like a slap on the face of the United States and the proof is President Obama’s statements about how choosing Qatar was a mistake
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi
Advertisement market prospers
Companies in Qatar, both local and international, reacted to the victory with numerous congratulations messages in several Qatari media outlets. This made newspapers and magazines increase the number of their pages as well as print extra editions to find space for all the advertisements.
According to al-Watan newspaper, all Friday issues were sold out and the number of pages for each issue reached 172, most of which were booked for congrats ads.
Al-Raya newspaper, which reached 160 pages, had the lion’s share with 100 pages of advertisements, followed by al-Sharq newspaper with 70 pages, then al-Watan and al-Arab.
For the first time in its history, al-Sharq newspaper issued a night edition on the day the World Cup vote results were announced in order to make sure the event receives full coverage.
All Qatari newspapers issued on Friday and Saturday were sold out during the early hours of the morning despite the weekend, as many Qatari tried to collect as many newspapers as possible to keep them as a souvenir.
The announcement of Qatar’s triumph coincided with preparations for the country’s National Day, which falls on December 18.
Qataris are now all the more enthusiastic to continue reveling as they celebrate the founding of their nation as well as the day they put the Middle East on the sports map.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).