The draw for this year’s World Cup takes place in the shadow of Doha’s skyscrapers on Friday, with the focus for the evening on the actual football after a build-up dominated by the many off-field issues surrounding the awarding of the tournament.

It is the most controversial World Cup in history, with Qatar dogged ever since it was named host in 2010 by accusations of vote-buying – which were hotly denied – and questions over the country’s suitability.

From human rights concerns to the ongoing war in Ukraine, it has been impossible to keep the spotlight solely on the sport, but FIFA president Gianni Infantino has repeated, as he did on Thursday, that it “will be a fantastic and unique World Cup”.

Continue reading this article on SportsDesk, the sports website of the Times of Malta

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us