A first all-indoor edition?
In just a summer's time, all our feverishly expectant eyes will be fixed on South Africa for a stereotype-breaking World Cup which will most emphatically be Sepp Blatter's baby. But is a new Blatter baby already turning in the cradle?
But this hi-tech bid is not as outrageous as it might seem. The Qataris have their magic potion ready and brewed: in one of the most prosperous countries on the planet, oil and gas riches are allowing the Middle Eastern nation to concoct a World Cup bid that will spare no superlatives.
"We strongly believe that it is time for the world's favorite game to come to the Middle East," Qatar's 2022 Bid CEO Hassan Abdulla Al Thawadi told ESPN Soccernet.
"It's time - and we are ready to make history. A World Cup in Qatar will be the first global sporting event to be hosted by the Middle East, bringing greater unity and understanding between peoples from every continent, and perfectly reflecting the FIFA slogan "For the Game; for the World".
In more simplistic football talk the Qatari message is simple: if South Africa can credibly host a World Cup, Qatar is the logical next step.
The huge sigh of relief to be heard from FIFA headquarters after this summer's Confederations Cup passed South Africa's World Cup credentials must have had a mighty echo from Qatar. That is not just because the ambitious West Asian country does not have a problem with striking stadium builders or noisy vuvuzelas.
Instead, insiders here believe the stereotype-breaking edition in Africa could open the doors to what seems an equally unlikely World Cup in the Middle East.
With many of the other bidding countries already having hosted the event, Qatar's bid team is keen to press home Blatter's original point that every region deserves a shot at football's biggest prize.
Despite its location at the heart of a fickle region, Qatar has no security concerns, and promises to build grandiose infrastructure with its almost limitless budget. On a recent tour of sports facilities in the capital city Doha, Blatter was clearly satisfied with what he saw and explicitly encouraged the Qataris to make a World Cup bid.
The only major concern, and a rather prickly one at that, is the weather. Summer in Qatar is sweltering hot. Making Messi and co play an outdoor football match in such conditions seems unthinkable. The country already fell short with a bid for the 2016 Olympic Games because it proposed to move the games to October in order to avoid the summer heat.
This time around, officials here say they have no intentions of moving away from the summer slot for the World Cup. The Qataris are quietly drawing up a revolutionary change for the 2022 World Cup: the idea is to make the event effectively the first all-indoor edition in the history of the competition.
If things go according to plan, you may be sitting in the desert in summer, but it will feel like a pleasant spring day in Europe inside the stadium.
"We already have air-conditioned stadia which have been used and have proven their success," Al Thawadi says, "currently, we are researching various cooling methods which are environmentally friendly and very effective in cooling. We'll be unveiling a number of visionary, state-of-the-art ideas for iconic stadia and infrastructure and we're very excited by the challenge of ensuring that your passion for football is the only thing that will make you hot."
But despite those flashy words, beating the heat is not the only thing that matters in this race, and Qatar knows it. There is also the small matter of outmanoeuvering opposition that counts some of the top calibre in world football: England, Spain and Portugal, Russia, Australia, the United States, Mexico, to mention but a few.
To do so, the Qataris have taken a strategic decision to bid only for the 2022 edition. Despite official assurances that 2022 was the only edition being considered, the move is clearly tactical. A World Cup in Europe seems very likely in 2018. Even with a fleet of sparkling super-cool, hi-tech stadiums, England appears unbeatable.
"Asian differences will impact on all Asian files," Qatar 2022 Bid President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani admitted at a recent press conference, "But we should not give this too much importance. There is still ferocious competition from all sides. And Bin Hammam will be a good asset to us with his expertise and contacts."
Sheikh Mohammed, the son of Qatar's ruling Emir, may well have been referring to the old friendship between AFC President Bin Hammam and Blatter. Rumours of its demise seem unlikely. As unlikely, almost, as a World Cup in South Africa would have seemed twelve years ago.