When former FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced Qatar’s victory in 2010, there was widespread scepticism about how exactly this tiny desert state, with no World Cup experience and scorching summer temperatures, had won.
Allegations of corruption, vote-swapping, and links to trade deals at the highest levels of government have always been denied by organisers and remain unproven.
But there is no denying the build-up to this tournament has been especially troubled.
There have been persistent fears over the human toll of building the infrastructure required in such a short period of time and in such a climate, along with discriminatory laws that prohibit homosexuality and curtail women’s freedoms through male guardianship rules.
BBC Analysis editor Ros Atkins looks at how Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup, as well as the human rights and environmental issues surrounding the tournament.
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