Qatar make surprise offer to host B&I Lions tour
SPOTLIGHT: The recent FIFA World Cup host Qatar is reportedly eager to stage big rugby showpieces.
According to the Daily Mail, Qatar Rugby Federation has expressed an interest in hosting a British & Irish Lions Test match in 2025.
The online newspaper reported that Qatar has bid to host the B&I Lions’ one-off game in preparation for the 2025 series in Australia.
The Lions have previously played warm-up games outside of the country they are touring.
They played the Barbarians in Hong Kong in 2013 which was also in preparation for a tour of Australia.
The report also revealed that the Qatar Rugby Federation are eager to bid for a regular slot in the World Rugby Sevens Series and the hosting rights for the Sevens World Cup.
#⃣NEWS: @WorldRugby announced that a time limit for kicks at goal will be introduced at the start of next year in an attempt to speed up the game#Rugby 🏉#RugbyUnion 🌍
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) December 22, 2022
However while the idea sounds good on paper given rugby as a sport can tap into a new market and fanbase, the events have the potential to run into the same problems the FIFA World Cup experienced.
First, the heat, with the Lions tours taking place in June and July players will have to deal with the sweltering Doha heat.
Meanwhile, freedom of speech is limited, with the media being censored to avoid criticising the government.