Yesterday’s decision by FIFA to award the rights host the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 to two countries that were identified as the two highest risk candidates may have made you feel the need to punch a baby in the face. Russia and Qatar might not have been your ideal candidates but it’s going to these countries and there isn’t anything you or anyone else can do to stop it.
Instead of looking on scornfully and like bad losers, it’s time to get excited about what the two tournaments may bring. It’s not everyday you have an excuse to jet off to Qatar in the 50 degree summer heat, and are you ever going to have it this easy getting a Visa for Russia? No didn’t think so.
Therefore, we’ve now prepared a short guide just in case you make the decision to attend either of the two world cups.
First up, Russia. When you first arrive in the country, you might encounter some heavy-handed immigration. Don’t worry about it, in other cultures people say hello differently. It might not be the same as the kiss on both cheeks offered across the channel, and if you try that, they may shoot you on the spot. So just go along with it.
Wearing a novelty Russian winter hat is a must, and even if it is the summer, it will mark you out as an English fan in the event that replica shirts are banned. When you find out the stadiums in which your teams are playing you might find it slightly bewildering that stadiums are miles apart. Don’t worry though. The train system will likely be a lot better than anything in England, and if it snows, everything doesn’t come to a standstill.
Lastly, if you have any friends who are not white Caucasian it might be an idea to politely remind them to stay at home. Anyone who’s seen Zenit St Petersburg’s policy on non-white players would ascribe to this idea.
What of the other hosts Qatar then? Everyone’s always requested that the World Cup be played in a sunny destination and with 50-degree heat, this is the ultimate. For any redheads attending it will take you the sum total of 30 seconds in the sun to be burnt. That has to be a record.
Apart from that, as it’s a nation that observes strict Islamic practices, literally don’t do anything that in other countries you might think is fun. This includes alcohol and letting your woman step out into public with her little toe showing. No gamblin’ drinkin’ and carryin’ on for anyone attending then.
Unlike Russia, Qatar can push the environmentally friendly message in a different way as the stadiums will all be within easy walking distance. Although you have to worry if Doha is actually a big enough place to accommodate all the stadiums. As the Qatari’s have taken the environmentally friendly step of building stadiums just for the tournament and then taking them down, could we have double decker stadiums in order to best utilize the space? They’ll call them the London Buses of football stadia you just wait.