Qatar’s World Cup denounced for ‘washing’ country’s image

A man takes a selfie with a sign reading in English” Fifa World Cup, Qatar 2022” at the corniche in Doha, Qatar, on Nov. 11. With no soccer tradition but billions in oil money, Qatar is the latest Persian Gulf nation using sports to try to burnish its image on the global stage. The host of the 2022 World Cup is smaller than Connecticut and has a population of fewer than 3 million. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Qatar’s decision to launch itself into hosting the 2022 World Cup was a head-scratcher from the start. Why, some wondered, would a Middle Eastern emirate with fewer than 3 million people and little soccer tradition want to host the sport’s biggest event?