Authors: Dr. Christos Anagnostopoulos and Dr. Kamilla Swart*
Now that the ultimate whistle of the FIFA World Cup 2022 has been blown, we will confidently state that Qatar has not solely demonstrated its functionality as a reliable host however has additionally showcased Arab hospitality and its wealthy tradition and traditions. The nation has additionally used the event to handle Islamophobia on a big scale to exhibit to the worldwide group that it’s a fashionable, progressive nation with a wealthy Islamic tradition and heritage. So now that the occasion is over, discussions about its legacy can begin. Proper?
Understanding the idea of ‘legacy’
The notion of legacy has acquired rising consideration from governments and sports activities governing our bodies amid escalating public scrutiny and contestation of the prices and advantages related to sporting occasions. This has been no totally different for Qatar, with legacy being on the forefront of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and aligned with the Nationwide Imaginative and prescient 2030.
The infrastructure growth that has taken place, whether or not within the type of enhanced transportation and mobility companies or new sports activities and recreation amenities, will probably strengthen Qatar’s positioning not solely as a globally aggressive sports activities tourism vacation spot but in addition by enhancing the standard of life for residents. Add to this the truth that environmental enhancements have been central to Qatar’s World Cup, with FIFA and Qatar issuing a joint Sustainability Technique for the primary time, based mostly on 5 sustainability commitments geared toward offering progressive environmental options to handle present environmental challenges. We’ve seen this in numerous areas, equivalent to within the progressive cooling applied sciences for the stadiums.
The World Cup has additionally been related to different typically overshadowed targets regarding rising alternatives for girls and women in sport and for individuals with disabilities. There are examples of intangible structural adjustments that may promote inclusivity in sport. Two illustrative circumstances are the worth co-creation from stakeholders equivalent to Era Superb and Qatar Basis (QF), which have partnered to supply teaching to women and girls at Oxygen Park, or QF’s Capacity-Pleasant Program, which has skilled coaches to additional develop soccer in Qatar. Whereas it’s true that the ‘ball has began rolling’, the impression, and finally the legacy, of all these initiatives stays to be seen.
In different phrases, we must be aware of how the time period ‘legacy’ is used. In our view, a transparent distinction must be made between outputs, outcomes, impression, after which legacy, and this goes past mere semantics.
Proposing a brand new understanding of ‘legacy’
The state-of-the-art soccer stadiums, model new (driver-free) Doha Metro, and spectacular Hamad Worldwide Airport – which aspires to be the principle transit level connecting the west with the east, along with the mandatory street infrastructure, ought to all be seen because the fast outputs of internet hosting the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. So, if the metro system is taken into account an output of the occasion, the result is the variety of individuals which are utilizing it throughout the occasion. Influence, in flip, shall be what number of residents in Qatar alter the way in which they transfer across the metropolis of Doha, Lusail, and different areas post-event. Legacy is then understood by way of the adjustments in attitudes and habits.
Additionally contemplate this: if an end result of the occasion pertains to introducing insurance policies and adjustments to legal guidelines to higher tackle working labor circumstances, then the impression could be happier staff and an elevated willingness of international corporations to affiliate themselves with Qatar’s wider enterprise ecosystem.
Let’s not neglect the 20,000-plus volunteers who made themselves accessible to help the implementation of the FIFA World Cup. Once more, this quantity is an output of internet hosting this mega sporting occasion in Qatar. The result would be the reply to a query equivalent to: ‘What number of of those volunteers – who both had no job or have been searching for a greater one – bought a (new) job? The impression then would be the reply to a query equivalent to: ‘What number of of them saved their job and have become productive members of society?’ Subsequently, when speaking about legacy, we check with the results of structural adjustments that have an effect on individuals at each a private and social degree, equivalent to exhausting and delicate abilities growth, information, and networks.
What we’ve got seen, for instance, is that for a number of years previous to the occasion, managers have been transferring specific information – at any operational degree and dimension – however they have been additionally transferring tacit information throughout the occasion. Tacit information is much less technical and extra involved with experiential and cognitive components. What analysis has informed us is that tacit information isn’t transformed into specific information within the post-event part. In different phrases, what we name ‘organizational reminiscence’ is just not used. Organizational reminiscence is the result of a corporation’s studying course of. Constructing on one of these information shall be one of many legacies of the occasion in query. Nonetheless, this build-up takes time.
One also can confidently argue that Qatar’s profitable internet hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup boosts its monitor file of internet hosting main worldwide sporting occasions, with the 2006 Asian Video games considered as having set the nation on its trajectory of building itself as a regional and worldwide sports activities hub. With the upcoming 2023 AFC Asian Cup, 2024 FINA World Swimming Championships, a Formulation 1 race annually for the following 10 years, and the 2030 Asian Video games, the nation will undoubtedly improve its resolve to grow to be the primary Arab and Muslim nation within the Center East to ever host the Olympic Video games.
Along with attracting main occasions on the sphere, Qatar can be attracting sports activities enterprise (that’s, off-field) occasions such because the World Affiliation of Sport Administration (WASM) Congress, which shall be co-hosted by Hamad Bin Khalifa College and Qatar College from March 5–8, 2023. Each establishments have leveraged the chance to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup to supply sport-management-related analysis to assist construct native capability within the sport trade in Qatar, and the area extra broadly. Nonetheless, how these research-based discussions over the three-day convention translate to shaping the following era of sport directors who will lead the nationwide (and regional) sport agendas stays to be seen.
In opposition to all this, we will not neglect that the cautious use of phrases (be it output, end result, impression or legacy) is just not a mere semantic train. Relatively, it is a crucial endeavor as a result of the higher we measure the correct components of the method, the higher the methods we make use of to realize the associated sustainable objectives.
* Dr. Kamilla Swart, a contributing creator to the e-book, is an Affiliate Professor and Director of the Sport and Leisure Administration (MSEM) program at CSE, HBKU.