Eight years before kickoff, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is already plagued by concerns about heat, corruption and human rights. Will it really happen?
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And so, on a relatively temperate day in Qatar—36°C at 3:45 p.m.—you drive a half-hour north from Doha, past all the construction cranes, past the billboards heralding the future (lusail city, iconic city, we will make it happen) to the patch of bare desert sand that, eight years hence, will stage the planet’s biggest Big Game. You step out of the car, and your sunglasses fog up instantly. In the distance you can make out a white school bus carrying migrant workers— from Nepal, perhaps, or India—to a nearby job site.
What do you see here?
Do you see progress?