Why Qatar hosting the World Cup could revolutionise the sport but is it worth it?

It is common knowledge now that France are now no longer set to host the next rugby league World Cup in 2025.

This has left the sport with an uphill battle to arrange a tournament in a short period of time.

There have been numerous suggestions. Some have pointed out that an easy option would be to just repeat the 2022 World Cup again.

Andrew Voss has suggested that the tournament take on a 2020 Euros look and be held across Europe.

But there have been five countries who have expressed an interest in hosting. These are New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, South Africa and of course Qatar, the hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

This is by far the most controversial one.

We often talk about growing the sport of rugby league and taking it somewhere like Qatar could do just that, It could spark the sport’s growth in a new area of the world where there is a lot of financial backing for sports clubs like PSG and there is interest from the country in wanting to buy Manchester United.

So financially, it could be a mega boost for the sport and be a massive step towards revolutionising the sport.

However, the country’s human rights record is of course the problem and had people threatening to boycott last year’s football World Cup.

After such an inclusive World Cup in 2022, fans may fear that it would not be the same if it headed to Qatar.

On the slip side of that, you could argue that the only way Qatar can become more inclusive is if examples are set for them and rugby league is one of the finest family sports out there with a great community and could make a real impact to people’s thinking in Qatar if it went there.

But travelling over would also represent a problem for many fans especially as we go through a Cost of Living Crisis.

Moreover, the weather would also be a stumbling block. The extreme heat was problematic at times in last year’s FIFA World Cup so imagine what it could do to a fast paced game of rugby league at the highest level.

In the end rugby league could make a big impact in Qatar and Qatar could make a big impact in rugby league. But would it be worth it?

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