DOHA—Nearly 13 years ago, on December 2010, 2022, the world's attention turned to the Swiss city of Zurich, where Sepp Blatter, then President of the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA), announced that Qatar had won the <> football championship, and since then the State of Qatar has been subjected to many smear campaigns, in an effort to exclude it from organizing the global entitlement for the first time in the Middle East.
The campaigns of attacks on Qatar extended from then until a few weeks after the tournament was organized last year without any clear justification except bias against everything Arab and Islamic, especially since the Qatari file was able to overthrow the files of large countries that considered their victory guaranteed, such as the United States.
In monitoring some media attacks in Western media, the book "The Game... The Qatar World Cup is more than football," by Ibrahim Badawi, international affairs editor at Qatar's Al Raya newspaper, who is based on a master's degree at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) on the relationship between media and public policy entitled: "Qatar's Image in the Western Press after Winning the Bid to Host the 2022 World Cup" from the end of 2009 to the end of 2015.
The book "The Game.. Qatar World Cup is more than football" Documentation of Western media attacks against Qatar World Cup (Al Jazeera)
The book documents the most prominent Western narratives in the British newspapers "The Guardian" and the American "The Washington Post" about the State of Qatar before its winning the hosting and even its brilliant organization of the tournament, and monitors in numbers and documented news the trends of Western coverage that were characterized by negativity, controversy and prejudices against the first Arab Muslim country to win the honor of hosting this major global event.
The role of the media in highlighting issues
The author stressed that the book, which was launched under the patronage of the President of the Qatari Businessmen Association Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, and in the presence of the Minister of State and President of Qatar National Library Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, and the ambassadors and heads of missions of Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Palestine and Kazakhstan, aims to identify how newspapers and media industry the image of Qatar negatively or positively.
He explained that the aim is to understand the role of the media and its way of highlighting issues without others to attract attention and interaction from the reader and the official on the one hand, and also for more equitable Western coverage of our Arab and Middle Eastern region on the other hand.
The author – in an interview with Al Jazeera Net – that the media is able to dig the image of countries and events in the minds of the masses, remain firmly established and perhaps difficult to change, America is the "land of dreams", Paris "the city of light", and the Middle East "the land of conflicts and destruction".
The media paints mental images of the human being
Badawi explained that media experts believe that 70% of the images that humans build of the world are derived from the media, through repeated exposure to certain media messages and images, such as the image of Arabs and Muslims in most Western media after the events of September 11, 2001, and the stigmatization of the entire Arab and Islamic world as terrorism.
The book monitors, according to the author's statements, the magnitude of the challenges and thorns that filled Qatar's road, before it brought the Gold Cup for the first time to our Arab and Middle Eastern region, and turned the dream into a vibrant reality, stressing that the State of Qatar did not mortgage its dreams to its geographical size and population, so its vision was farther and its will is stronger and its faith deeper.
He pointed out that he wanted in a scientific way to know the trends of press coverage in two of the world's most influential newspapers, the Guardian and the Washington Post, by analyzing the content of press materials related to the State of Qatar and its hosting of the tournament and applying the theories of framing, and setting the agenda (Agenda Setting), which are media theories that briefly explain how newspapers highlight topics and ignore others or provide a specific picture of reality as the newspaper sees it, so the recipient only sees what this newspaper wants.
Negative press coverage of Qatar
The book highlights that most of the trends in press coverage of the Qatar World Cup were negative by about 50%, neutral by 28% and positive by 22%, stressing that some details are overflowing with prejudice, racism and duality, especially with the conviction of some Western media that they do not cover the news, but rather manufacture it.
Despite repeated Western propaganda campaigns and the outbreak of bulletsless wars against Qatar's hosting of the World Cup, Qatar organized an exceptional tournament that proved that Arabs do not live on the margins of the world, and reciprocate love with love, peace with peace, and respect with respect.
Historical document of the World Cup
During the inauguration ceremony, Minister of State and President of Qatar National Library Hamad Al-Kuwari explained that the book is a historical document to monitor the unjust media campaigns that the State of Qatar was subjected to for organizing the 2022 World Cup, through which it was able to prove its self-confidence, willpower and clarity of image in its leadership to represent Arabs in this honorable image.
He added that going back to years, we find that Qatar has taken a path that expresses an unrelenting will by running for hosting, presenting a file that dazzled the world, during which it competed with strong countries with a global impact, and Qatar was able to succeed and win the nomination, and then dazzle the world with an exceptional tournament for the 2022 World Cup.
He explained that "everyone followed the unjust campaigns against Qatar, but we were not surprised by these campaigns, which turned into part of the past, and proved wrong behind them and history will stand at length in front of the World Cup Qatar, which experts confirmed that it will not be repeated, especially if we know that the next tournament will be in 3 countries, and then what happened in Qatar will not be able to be repeated."
In a statement to Al Jazeera Net, the President of Qatar National Library confirmed that he will launch a book written by him soon, and will be launched at the Doha International Book Fair, which also focuses on the Qatar World Cup, explaining at the same time that he visited many European countries after World Cup, and touched how there was a change in attitudes towards the Arabs due to the success of the organization of World Cup, which is a positive thing for Qatar, the Arabs and the entire region, and how we can change the stereotype in the minds of others about the region and countries that do not They know something about it.