A 16-TEAM Asian Cup with few travelling supporters and media scrutiny somewhat less than that of the whole planet is no test run for a 32-country World Cup.
So with Qatar 11 years away from hosting soccer's global showpiece, it would be remiss not to reflect on this small Middle East country's performance in staging what is, Olympics and World Cups aside, Asia's biggest sporting event.
There was widespread shock and disillusionment throughout much of soccer's ''first world'' when FIFA announced that Qatar had beaten off the US, Australia, Japan and South Korea for the right to host the 2022 tournament.
There was talk about the ''synergy'' of resource rich Qatar with the old men of FIFA's executive committee, who put a ''brave face'' on it by suggesting they supported the Qatar bid for the legacy it would bring to soccer in the Middle East.
The decision will not be changed, even though FIFA bigwig Michel Platini keeps trying to suggest that matches be played all around the region, to make it a kind of World Cup for the Persian Gulf.
The Asian Football Confederation's boss, Mohammed Bin Hamman, gives short shrift to that suggestion, consistently telling Platini that Qatar will not share. The Qatari points out that his country won the bid on its own and should be allowed to stage the tournament on its own.
Bin Hamman is a powerful figure within the world game, the driver of an influential group of Middle Eastern soccer politicians who sit at FIFA's highest table. Increasingly it looks like he will challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter for the top job at FIFA.
This Asian Cup was well organised. It was well run. Security was tight. It was obtrusive but, for the media at least, not too heavy-handed and Qatar is a safe place anyway.
The stadiums were all well appointed and comfortable.
Communications were excellent (internet, mobile phones).
There was no public transport as such, but Qatari authorities have pledged to spend billions to develop a public transit system to be completed before the World Cup. Given the money at their disposal it is unlikely they will not carry out that promise.
Hotel rooms will multiply exponentially over the next few years as a building boom takes hold. Already streets and rows of shops close to the city centre and main tourist attraction, the Souq Waqif market, are being demolished, to be replaced by swanky new structures. The tourist friendly Souq is also being extended.
The compact nature of Qatar means that transport and travel will not be a huge issue for visitors who come here for a World Cup. The five stadiums used during the Asian Cup were barely more than half an hour's taxi ride from the heart of town and proximity will probably be similar during the World Cup when 12 grounds are due to host games.
Fans will be easily able to get to more than one match in a day, which couldn't be done at South Africa's World Cup because of the distances between venues and the dangers of crime.
The biggest downside is the lack of a sporting culture.
Crowds for many Asian Cup games were disappointing. Not even the final sold out, the Australia-Japan clash attracting some 37,000 to the 40,000 capacity Khalifa Stadium.
This might not be such a big issue if there are a lot of travelling supporters but World Cups are also successful if the home supporters, even those without match tickets, get into the swing of things and turn the whole month into a big party.
The weather is also a major issue and while Bin Hamman keeps insisting that the tournament will go ahead in the summer of 2022 surely common sense will prevail and FIFA will get its way, with the World Cup being played in January.
The temperatures during this past month - anything between 10 and 25 degrees - were ideal.
Players will also arrive fit and less likely to be injured as their seasons will only be four months old - unlike previous World Cups, where players arrive banged up and tired out after 10 months of grinding action.
This is a story that will run and run. Eleven years is a long time, but the evidence of the past three weeks suggests that the Qataris have the will, desire and, equally important, the money, to make it happen.