World Cup 2022: Live Updates
DOHA, Qatar — On Saturday evening, on the pristine streets of Doha’s Souq Waqif, amid incense-burning, spice merchants and squawking aviaries, something resembling the World Cup finally began to take shape.
The restaurants are decorated in the flags of the 32 competing countries. There were stores selling headdresses, including America’s Stars and Stripes, Argentina’s Sun, Brazil’s Ordem e Progresso. And there were hundreds of devotees, their colors pinned to their chests or wrapped around their shoulders, mixing and milling and singing and laughing.
On Saturday, it seemed, something was over: FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s extraordinary, strafing attack on what he thought was a fitting finale to 12 years of controversy and scandal and crime that is football’s crown jewel, the biggest sporting event. On Earth, brought here, in this tiny enclave of extravagant wealth.
Now the question is what comes next. Tickets for several group stage matches are yet to be sold. The expected influx of fans has not yet started. Just 48 hours before the first game, the Qatari authorities decided that – in fact – beer would not be sold in the stadium. The goal post, it turns out, can still move.
Qatar has spent 12 years preparing itself, and FIFA has spent the same amount of time preparing for this World Cup. But what kind of World Cup will be? We’re about to find out.
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