Center for International and Regional Studies, Sports

Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 Lecture Series

Who Belongs to a Country? National Representation and Identity at the FIFA World Cup 2022

Person kicking a football

About the Talk

Questions around national identity and belonging are becoming a much-discussed issue, culminating in the question: Who qualifies and deserves to belong to a specific nation in international sport? While a vast majority of France’s winning World Cup squad in 2018 were immigrants, many players born in France represented other countries such as Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. Likewise, Qatar’s football history is filled with naturalized players including Sebastian Soria, Roderigo Tabata and Fabio Cesar. However, on the national team that won the 2019 AFC Asian Championship, most players were born and raised in Qatar, many of them being sons of immigrants. Join the CIRS panel to listen to discussions about national teams and the national identity of their players.


  • Zahra Babar, CIRS – Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Edward J. Kolla, Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Gijs van Campenhout, Utrecht University
  • Peter Spiro, Temple University
  • Ross Griffin, Qatar University


  • Danyel Reiche, Georgetown University in Qatar