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Qatar's New World Cup Soccer Stadium Was Supposed to Look Like a Boat...but Some Say It Looks a Lot Like a Female Body Part (Content Warning)


"...just asking for trouble."

The future Al Wakrah stadium in Qatar (Image: AECOM via YouTube)

Editor's note: The following post contains some scientific terminology that may not be suitable in all settings.

When stadium designers over the weekend posted their vision for a new 40,000-seat stadium set to be built for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, they probably didn’t expect the video of their design to go viral. They probably also didn’t expect the kind of reaction coming in from bloggers marveling at the future stadium’s resemblance to a vagina.

In their YouTube video, designer AECOM and Zaha Hadid Architects describe the new Al Wakrah Stadium as being “inspired by the dhow boat that carried generations of local fishermen and pearl divers.”

The future Al Wakrah stadium in Qatar (Image: AECOM via YouTube)

“The stadium weaves together Qatar's past with its progressive vision for the future,” designers said.

Some bloggers aren’t sharing the lofty boat vision, and instead are seeing something much simpler.

In a post for the Guardian’s "Comment is Free" blog, blogger Holly Baxter wrote, “with its shiny, pinkish tinge, its labia-like side appendages and its large opening in the middle, the supposedly innocent building (‘based upon the design of a traditional Qatari dhow boat’) was just asking for trouble.”

The feminist website Jezebel observed, “Any discerning human will be quick to recognize that the building looks exactly like an enormous vagina.”

“It doesn't really look much like a dhow boat, though — to reiterate, the stadium looks just like a very big vagina,” Jezebel added.

“In a world where sport and vaginas very rarely come together with such prominence (see every U.K. female footballer's salary versus every U.K. male footballer's salary), this can only be a good thing. And after all, why not have 45,000 people crammed inside a woman's reproductive system? It's not like they haven't been there before,” wrote Baxter who also edits the Vagenda blog.

Here is video of the new stadium's design:

After Qatar was announced as host of the 2022 games, gay and lesbian groups criticized FIFA, the International Federation of Association Football, the governing body for international soccer, for choosing a country where homosexuality is illegal.

Amnesty International on Sunday issued a report appealing to FIFA to address Qatar’s “routine and widespread” exploitation of migrant workers hired for construction projects in advance of the sports tournament.

“Amnesty International has confirmed accounts of thousands of migrants trapped inside labor camps having been ‘deceived’ into joining the country’s construction frenzy ahead of the 2022 World Cup,” the U.K. Independent reported on Monday.

An American couple in Qatar for an infrastructure project tied to the 2022 games is presently in legal jeopardy in the Persian Gulf state. Authorities accuse Matthew and Grace Huang of killing their adopted daughter in order to sell her body parts, but the California Innocence Project which has taken on their case says the devout Christian couple is innocent and that the entire case is based on “faulty science” and misunderstandings by Qatar over interracial adoptions and homeschooling. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.

(H/T: Metro)



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