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Rugby: Qatar's astronomical offer to host the biggest clashes between North and South

In its quest for softpower, Qatar is going on the offensive.

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Rugby: Qatar's astronomical offer to host the biggest clashes between North and South

In its quest for softpower, Qatar is going on the offensive. According to the British daily Daily Mail, the Qataris have put on the table a “surprise offer” of nearly a billion euros to host what they present as the “Superbowl in rugby”.

Their proposal? Host the Nations League finals every two years, which will begin in 2026. World Rugby announced the creation of this new competition last year. A tour of the 6 Nations teams in the summer in the southern hemisphere before the reception of the southern nations in Europe in the fall. The six teams from the Tournament, the four from the Rugby Championship (New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Argentina) as well as two invited nations (Japan and, probably, Fiji) will compete over a two-year cycle. ).

The principle would be as follows. Play the finals of this League of Nations for three days. The highest-ranked European team after six matches played would face the highest-ranked team from the Southern Hemisphere in a grand final to determine the winner of the competition. And so on – 2nd against 2nd… until 6th against 6th. That is, six matches in three days played in the seven stadiums in Doha built for the 2022 Football World Cup, including the Lusail Stadium where the final took place.

To give itself every chance of obtaining this “Rugby Superbowl”, Qatar, which would work in collaboration with the marketing and sports rights agency Pitch International, did not hesitate to put up 800 million pounds (i.e. almost of 950 million euros) on the table over eight years (the first four editions). A providential windfall for Federations mostly in financial difficulties…

He also highlighted its winter temperatures - more than 20 degrees - ideal for playing rugby, and the gigantic commercial returns from such an event, the small Gulf state being located almost halfway for European and international supporters. the southern hemisphere.

Still according to the Daily Mail, the Six Nations and Sanzaar – organizers of the Tournament and the Rugby Championship – would have one week to open a two-month period of exclusive negotiations. A project which would upset the geopolitics of the oval planet and would not fail to cause a stir, rugby fans hardly seem inclined to sacrifice the "values" of the Oval on the altar of the gas state's dollars regularly suspected to finance radical Islamism.

The Qatari government wants to host more international sporting events to compete with neighboring Saudi Arabia as a global sporting power. Qatar will host the World Swimming Championships next year, then the 2027 Basketball World Cup. It is also studying a bid for the 2036 Olympic Games.

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