The article discusses the recently concluded Qatar 2022 tournament and reflects on its successes and shortcomings.
It commends the quality of football played and highlights Argentina's well-deserved victory in the final against France.
However, it also notes various issues such as the extreme heat that players and fans had to endure, the accessibility challenges for disabled fans, and the country's human rights record.
Looking ahead to the next world cup in 2026, the author urges organizers to use Qatar as a learning opportunity and prioritize the welfare of all stakeholders.
In a reflective piece for The Guardian, Anita Asante offers her thoughts on the recently concluded Qatar 2022 tournament and the expectations for the next world cup in 2026.
On the positive side, she commends the quality of football played and singles out Argentina's impressive performance in the final against France.
However, she also notes various issues that cast a shadow on the tournament: "But this World Cup was played in conditions that are far from human-friendly.
The heat was unbearable for the players, let alone the fans.
" She also points to the challenges faced by disabled fans in accessing the stadiums, and Qatar's poor human rights record.
Asante hopes that the organizers of the next world cup will learn from the Qatar experience and prioritize the welfare of all stakeholders.
She argues that the tournament can be a powerful platform for promoting social justice: "The World Cup has always provided a platform for social and political discussions.
It is a time to come together and raise awareness of issues both on and off the field.
" However, she stresses that this can only be achieved if the tournament is organized in a way that respects human rights and prioritizes inclusivity: "It is up to us all to ensure that we create a World Cup that is safe, accessible, and inclusive for everyone."
The article ends with a call to action for all those involved in organizing the 2026 World Cup to use it as an opportunity to create a more ethical and equitable tournament: "2026 provides a great opportunity to look back at 2022 and do better.
We can create a tournament that empowers players, celebrates diversity and promotes mutual respect.
But we need the same level of ambition, vision and determination from organisers as we do from the players on the pitch."