Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup has been riddled with controversy from the get-go. From allegations of bribery and corruption in the bidding process to reports of abuse and exploitation of migrant workers in preparation for the tournament, there has been no shortage of outrage.
Even something seemingly as innocuous as the unveiling of the stadium's design has generated a stir. Here's the animated video that AECOM Technology Corporation released to showcase the project:
The inspiration of the design is a "dhow" boat, which is the traditional Qatari vessel for pearl diving.
But Buzzfeed had a decidedly different take on it, saying Al Wakrah Stadium resembles female genitalia. The stark critique quickly gained traction online over the weekend, which can't be welcome news for organizers already saddled with the issues cited.
This isn't the first flap involving plans for a stadium. In 2011, the Qataris announced plans to produce
artificial clouds to provide shade for fans in the stadium.
It's actually a smart move, if the technology can be put into practice, given that temperatures can reach 120 degrees in July and August, the usual summertime slot for the World Cup. This has been another huge headache for soccer, and some officials have pushed for the 2022 World Cup to be shifted to the winter.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter told Al Jazeera that "if it's possible to play at another date, it will be better but they will not play the World Cup in January or February" because it cannot conflict with the 2022 Winter Olympics.
As a contrast to what was just released, here is a model of the stadium that Qatar used in 2010 during the bidding process: