Exclusive media partner: The New York Times


Receive regular updates about forthcoming events and other news from Intelligence Squared


You have been added to our mailing list and will now be among the first to hear about events.

Thursday November 3 2022, 6pm GMT

The Road to Qatar: Football and Politics in the Middle East

When journalist and author James Montague first began covering football in the Middle East two decades ago people asked him what future there could possibly be for the beautiful game in one of the most volatile regions in the world. In the years that followed the game’s development in the Middle East would become one of the biggest stories in global sport. There were revolutionary fans – known as ultras – fomenting the Arab Spring in places like Egypt and Tunisia. There were the takeovers of some of England’s biggest football clubs by the Emirati and Saudi superrich. And of course, there was Qatar’s controversial journey towards hosting the 2022 World Cup finals.

One of the only Western journalists covering football’s impact in the Middle East, Montague will share his unique insights at Intelligence Squared on November 3. He will discuss his travels across the Middle East where he spoke to fans, players, workers, politicians and campaigners as he sought to understand how money and football were reshaping this complex and vibrant region. Join Montague in conversation with The Athletic’s Joey D’Urso, hear the story and ask your questions. 


Event Name

The Road to Qatar: Football and Politics in the Middle East

Intelligence Squared+
Online Event

You can get access to this event and many more by subscribing to Intelligence Squared+ from just £14.99 per month.


Already subscribed to Intelligence Squared+? Please Log In

Or you can purchase access for this event only:

  • James Montague

    Author and journalist

  • Joey D’Urso

    Investigations writer for The Athletic

  • Online event
  • Thursday 3 November 2022
  • 6pm to 7pm GMT



James Montague

Author and journalist

Author and journalist who focuses on the intersection of football and politics. He has reported from over 80 countries and is the author of books including The Billionaires Club: The Unstoppable Rise of Football's Super-Rich Owners, 1312: Among the Ultras and When Friday Comes: Football, War and Revolution in the Middle East. He writes for publications such as The Guardian, The New York Times and Delayed Gratification.

Joey D'Urso

Investigations writer for The Athletic

Investigations writer for The Athletic specialising in football's relationship with money, gambling and cryptocurrency. He previously worked as a journalist for BBC News and BuzzFeed.