MIDDLE EAST

Quite simply, the fall of Qatar

Defeat is not longer just a verb but implies total decimation. The players of football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) was both humiliated and destroyed at the hands of the Spanish team Real Madrid, the men of its famous manager Zidane. Zizou, the child of the country, was the main tormenter of PSG. At this level of the game, friendship needs to be forgotten. At this point, one goal is worth a zillion dollars, or dozens of new markets and hundreds of potential new fans. This matter is no longer just about the tournament, but about states playing for their future.

The shocking reaction of the Emir of Qatar a few nights ago at the Parc des Princes clearly exemplifies this fact. As his team floundered, Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani left the stadium. He left much before the end of the game (in fact at the 66th minute), after a Red Card was shown to a very angry Verrati who was expelled.

Out of sheer anger and humiliation, the owner of the PSG (Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani) banged the door! He was not interested in knowing what happens next. PSG eventually equalized, but Real scored again. It was clear that Shaikh Tamim could not bear witnessing the end.

Loss of his football team PSG was too much for the Emir of Qatar to bear. With this defeat his hopes of turning the oil oasis into a haven for tourism appear dashed as is the desire to enhance the image of his country.

Nathalie Bourrus

Qataris beaten down

For Qataris, this loss is tantamount to a calamity. Millions of dollars had been spent but above all there was a potential for Qatar to recover and effect a comeback, but alas! The loss of the football team PSG was too much for the Emir of Qatar to bear. With this defeat his hopes of turning the oil oasis into a haven for tourism appear dashed as is the desire to enhance the image of his country. His hopes were to project a less hostile image, more tolerant picture than that of being a land of falcons, where men spend $20,000 to watch a fight between birds. This picture is not very flattering. It sticks out as a sore thumb given the fact that the country actively supports many Islamists around the world. It is the image of a country that has a splintered vision on human rights and women’s rights. It does not sit well with the ruling class of Qatar that has a great fascination for the French, their culture and their football.

In sum, that night an Emir witnessed his hopes of elevating his oil-rich monarchy to the rank of the most illustrious countries, being dashed in a mere 66 minutes.

This article was originally published in French.

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Nathalie Bourrus is a prominent French journalist who writes on geopolitical current affairs.
 

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Last Update: Sunday, 11 March 2018 KSA 08:45 - GMT 05:45
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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