Long before Qatar made history with its winning bid to host the World Cup in 2022, football played an important role in national sports and society. To introduce this rich but largely unknown history to new audiences, QF-partner Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) hosted award-winning academic and author Dr. Matthias Krug for a World Cup Lecture Series public webinar titled “Qatar´s Football Journey: From First Games on Sand to Hosting the World as Asian Champions,” which was held on November 16, 2020, at 6:00PM Doha time.
In the talk, the Doha-born journalist and author debunked the misconception that Qatar is new to the world of football by telling the fascinating inside story of the country’s most cherished football and sporting moments and players over the past six decades.
“Qatar has become a capital of world sports which will host global football fans in 2022. So in order to gain a full understanding of this development it is important to look at the history and where this rapid development and incredible sports vision has come from,” explained Dr. Krug.
This lecture is part of the Building a Legacy: Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 research initiative at GU-Q’s Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS). Under the guidance of GU-Q Visiting Associate Professor Dr. Danyel Reiche, the project seeks to examine the implications of staging the world’s greatest sporting event on the social, political, and economic development of Qatar as well as on regional and global affairs.
Dr. Reiche, who moderated the event, said: “I hope that the audience learns that football is not a sport new to Qatar and is, as in most parts of the world, the leading sport in the country. And that Qatar’s football history does not start with the awarding of the World Cup 2022 in December 2010 to Qatar.”
Dr. Krug has written numerous books, short stories and articles, including “Journeys on a Football Carpet,” which was published by HBKU in 2019 and won awards at the 2020 International Book Awards and the 2020 Living Now Book Awards.
“I was inspired to write the first book about Qatar’s football history not only to relate some of my family’s very personal experiences, but to document the experiences of a nation and the inspiring people who helped to shape those journeys on the sporting fields,” he said.
Visit the university’s website for more information about the Building a Legacy CIRS research initiative, which includes, apart from the lecture series, a blog and a podcast series. To view upcoming lectures in the World Cup 2022™ Lecture Series, as well as several other training and public lecture programs, visit the university’s Virtual Hub for Global Dialogue: Engaging Communities, Finding Solutions platform, an online initiative that comprises the university’s broad efforts to bring the community together for engaging discussions on a wide variety of issues.