CNN Photos take a look at “soccer crazy Qatar” gearing up for the 2022 World Cup.
Originally posted on CNN Photos:
Many were surprised when tiny Qatar, a Middle East nation with a population of less than 2 million, was awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
No Arab country has ever hosted the international soccer tournament, and Qatar seemed like an unlikely candidate to be the first: A minnow in the footballing world, its national team has never even qualified for the event.
But in the end, the emirate’s ambitious bid beat out several sporting behemoths, including Australia and the United States.
Now the challenge is to get ready. And Qatar is racing to develop both its infrastructure and its national team.
“Because of the World Cup, people are starting to get more involved,” French-based photographer Isabelle Eshraghi said. “They are promoting sport and especially football inside the country.”
Eshraghi said Qatar has changed dramatically since 2004 when she first visited.
“At that time, Qatar was very empty,” she…
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