Qatar's Mohammed Muntari reacts as he misses a possible goal against Bahrain during their Group C football match at the AFC Asian Cup in Sydney on January 19, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN
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The furor over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar shows no sign of abating and a miserable Asian Cup showing by the Gulf nation indicates critics could soon have a solid footballing argument for opposing the move.In different times, Italy hosted the 1934 World Cup without taking part in the first World Cup in 1930 but ever since, the host nation have earned the right to play in a finals at least once before qualifying automatically for their own tournament.Qatar's failure to progress beyond the group stage at the Asian Cup after three defeats against just the sort of countries they will need to beat to qualify for the 2018 World Cup makes this scenario now look highly likely.The man currently charged with building a squad capable of competing at the very top table in 2018 and 2022 is former Marseille midfielder Djamel Belmadi, who took over after Qatar failed to reach last year's finals in Brazil.
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