TVÄTTEN I ÖKNEN En diskursanalys av svensk och qatarisk mediebevakning av fotbolls – VM i Qatar
The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar is amongst the most controversial sporting events in history. The country is accused of using the tournament as a political tool in order to launder its reputation and profile itself as attractive for future investment and tourism. Previous research has established that countries primarily host mega-sporting events to gain soft power. By using discourse analysis, this study examines how Qatari media tries to associate the tournament and the state with attractive values to gain soft power. The study also examines Swedish media in order to see whether Qatar’s soft power efforts have been successful or not. The results show that Qatari media portray the event as a symbol of pride in the middle east and associate it with attractive values such as peace, harmony and sustainability while also describing the state as tolerant and open to all peoples of the world. However, this is not the case in Swedish media who instead portray the tournament and the state of Qatar in a negative and unattractive way. This suggests that a soft – disempowerment effect has occurred in the Swedish context and an orientalist discourse appears which portrays Qatar as “the other”.