World Cup Unites Arab States

The Qatar World Cup began on November 20 with a loss for the host nation, a 92-year first. But something perhaps equally rare has been fostered since: a sense of Arab unity.

“It feels nice to see an Arab country host,” a Saudi Arabian government employee told the Financial Times. “I’m proud for sure.” Although Qatar performed poorly on the pitch, other Arab states have put out some giant-killing performances: Morocco defeated Belgium; Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina.

“A lot of the Arab solidarity has come as a result of the Saudi victory over Argentina,” said Mohammed Alyahya, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. “It sent a message to all that Arabs can win.”

Arabs vs. the West: Western nations largely criticized the decision to have Qatar host the World Cup. Countries like the United States, Germany, England, Belgium and France have been outspoken about Qatar’s ban on homosexuality, treatment of migrant workers, and stance on women. This hasn’t stopped these nations from asking Qatar for natural gas to replace the Russian supply.

This has created a siege mentality in the Arab states. They have backed Qatar’s handling of hot-button issues, while calling out the West for its hypocrisy.

“We don’t have as much sexual and political freedom as you do, don’t claim to be democratic,” tweeted Dubai-based political science professor Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, “but we are stable prosperous monarchies [that] organize world-class events, compete with the best and have the best of everything—so eat your heart out neocolonialists, orientalists and Western hypocrites.”

Less than two years ago, the Arab nations were divided and in turmoil over Qatar’s close ties to Islamic extremism. Qatar has done much to repair those ties and smooth relations with its neighbors. And the World Cup has created even greater unity among the Arab states. This could have significant prophetic implications.

Prophecy says: Psalm 83 describes an alliance of nations that work together to attack Israel. Most of the countries mentioned are in the Middle East. This alliance has never existed in history.

The 2022 World Cup shows improving relations in the Arab world, which will lead to the fulfillment of that prophecy. Read The King of the South to learn more.