Darren Gough: Qatar will show it can throw a World Cup party for everyone

IT seems to be that after every football World Cup, the scaremongering just starts again.

A computer image of the 'Lusail' stadium, designed by Biritish architect Norman Foster, for the FIFA World Cup 2022, to be built in Doha, Qatar.
A computer image of the 'Lusail' stadium, designed by Biritish architect Norman Foster, for the FIFA World Cup 2022, to be built in Doha, Qatar.

I remember before the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 when people were saying ‘you cannot be doing this and having it there’. We had a wonderful World Cup.

Before the tournament in Brazil in 2014, it was: ‘don’t walk on the beach, don’t do this and that.’

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It was another fantastic World Cup, as it was in Russia where England fans were told beforehand that it was not going to be safe.

Quite simply, it was the best World Cup I have watched or been part of.

We were welcomed throughout the tournament and the atmosphere was fantastic.

Now it has cranked up on Qatar with talk of: ‘We should not have a winter World Cup’ and the tournament should be taken off them.

All I can tell people is that, having been to their capital of Doha, it is a fantastic place. Everyone is friendly and the hotels are top of the tree.

There are going to be eight stadiums with just one hour between them all. The temperature is going to be lovely; about 25 degrees – perfect weather.

Fans will be able to go to all three group games in one day as the stadiums are so close. I saw the model for all eight stadiums at an exhibition in Russia for Qatar 2022. The stadiums are unbelievable.

Yes, they do have strict non-drinking rules in Qatar for religious reasons.

But it will be well organised and one of the main sponsors is an alcoholic company and there will be fan parks where fans can go meet and have a drink. Part of a World Cup is experiencing things in all different parts of the world. That is why it is called a ‘World’ Cup.

I have no worries at all about Qatar and they have employed some of the best people in the world who have been involved in tournaments and they will deliver a great World Cup.

I have had messages from people working out there who say it will be an amazing experience for fans.

The only worry for them will be the £10 it costs for a pint!

Regarding the itinerary, it will also be fascinating as beforehand, there will be six Champions League games played in early November, with the World Cup starting on November 21, 2022.

Meanwhile, England’s World Cup warm-up will be Euro 2024 qualifiers between September and November. It is hard to work out and soon after the World Cup, the Premier League will start up again on Boxing Day. If England get to the final, it could be a very short break!

Personally, I am actually looking forward to a winter World Cup, even if it might be weird with people in coats in fan parks having a drink.

But if England are in a quarter-final or semi-final, people will get behind it.