Nothing can change the fact that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is a tainted tournament

Qatar 2022 is a £ 200 billion SHOT. Goals will not eliminate the stench of corruption on which this World Cup is built

Gianni Infantino said what people like him always say before an important tournament. “We will see the best World Cup ever in Qatar,” said the FIFA president on Friday.

Usually, you would let it flow. Usually, you’d be tempted to indulge this as harmless nonsense. Usually, you’d be overwhelmed by the excitement that accompanied Friday’s draw. Not this time.

Will we see the best World Cup ever in Qatar? No, we won’t. We could see some great football. I hope we do. We might see some magical moments. With the talent that will be there, those are guaranteed.

We will also see some breathtaking goals and some memorable celebrations. And there will be joy and there will be despair. None of this will change the fact that this is a tainted tournament.

This won’t be the best World Cup ever. It’s a £ 200 billion robbery. And now it’s our turn, the full absurdity of what we have been accomplices of is becoming a reality.

We are organizing a World Cup in a smaller country than London because we didn’t have the will to say “no” when it was stolen from the rest of the football world by FIFA scammers, charlatans and thugs 12 years ago.

In some ways, Friday was the last frontier. Don’t go back now. Any hope of Qatar being stripped of the tournament has vanished. Seeing England in a group with the US and Iran, knowing when their matches are, made everything real. Qatar has done it. They really did. They have Elvis to play town hall. And they got the World Cup to come to Qatar.

Nothing can change the fact that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is a tainted tournament

FIFA boss Gianni Infantino (L) said it would be

FIFA boss Gianni Infantino (L) said it would be “the best World Cup ever”. Do not make me laugh

The best World Cup ever? Please. He is already contaminated by his cradle. He was born amid widespread accusations of bribery and corruption. He almost seems to have forgotten that he was awarded by one of the most venal sports voters in history.

Of the 22 FIFA executives who voted in 2010 for Qatar to host the tournament, at least 16 were banned, charged or charged with criminal corruption, involved in FBI cases or accused of ethical violations but not convicted.

It is also contaminated by its construction. Its stadiums were built in the blood of migrant workers. More than 6,500 workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since winning the right to host the World Cup final 12 years ago. Many of them are thought to have been working on World Cup projects.

We may witness big football events and magical moments, but none of these will mask the stench of corruption and fear.

We may witness big football events and magical moments, but none of these will mask the stench of corruption and fear.

Qatar has overseen a number of large construction projects over the past decade and many who visited the country for Friday’s draw were struck by how Doha, its capital, still looks like a construction site. Seven new stadiums, a new airport, new roads, new public transport systems and a new city were built. Those construction projects required armies of migrant workers.

“A very significant percentage of the migrant workers who have died since 2011 were in the country only because Qatar won the right to host the World Cup,” said Nick McGeehan, director of FairSquare Projects, a advocacy group specializing in labor rights. in the Gulf.

The system that built Qatar’s football palaces was a modern version of slave labor. Unpaid wages or wages held for months have been reported. Others refer to the conditions as contract easements. It is called the kafala system in the Gulf and 18 months ago the new labor laws in Qatar put an end to it there. At least in theory.

The World Cup was stolen by FIFA scammers, charlatans and thugs 12 years ago

The World Cup was stolen by FIFA scammers, charlatans and thugs 12 years ago

Sepp Blatter was among the officials who were banned from FIFA

Michel Platini was also expelled on corruption charges

Of the 22 officials who voted for Qatar, 16 have been banned, charged or charged with criminal corruption. In the photo: Sepp Blatter (L) and Michel Platini, both ousted

Some say the advent of the World Cup is responsible for these changes. They say the public gaze has led to modernization and it is true that the reforms have been welcomed by a number of trade union organizations. There have been some signs of progress. It is also true that there is already some skepticism that such reforms work in practice.

“We recognize that progress needs to be made,” said Qatar World Cup Secretary General Hassan Al-Thawadi, one of the tournament’s most articulate voices, “but what we are also asking is to acknowledge the work that has been done. We have ambition. legitimate to show our region to the rest of the world and to change people’s perception of who we are “.

Unfortunately, the reforms will not change the reality of the conditions that workers faced during the construction of the stadiums. When players end up playing their group games in November, they might as well play in those migrant workers’ graveyards. Quite as anyone can still claim it will be the best World Cup ever under those beggarly belief circumstances.

Qatar's stadiums were built in the blood of migrant workers after more than 6,500 deaths

Qatar’s stadiums were built in the blood of migrant workers after more than 6,500 deaths

They also keep saying that this will be a World Cup for everyone. Qatar has hired many expensive PR executives to push that party line and push it relentlessly. But it’s not true.

The World Cup excludes people at best. Usually for economic reasons. This time, FIFA is asking us to visit a state that criminalizes homosexuality and at the same time expects us to join in the mistake that this is a festival for the world.

Last week, 16 different global anti-discrimination groups released a collective statement voicing their concerns about the tournament. “We haven’t heard any details about the guarantees that LGBT + people (fans or residents) will not be arrested for their existence,” he said.

“We have seen complete contempt for the fans during this interrupted process. It is clear that the voices of the fans, especially minority groups, are not taken seriously by FIFA and the Supreme Committee. We cannot say in good faith to our members, to LGBT + people or allies that this is a World Cup for everyone. ‘

There is already some debate about what will happen to people waving rainbow flags during matches or outside stadiums. An official suggested that the flags should have been removed from them for their own protection. Which was supposed to be reassuring, but it really wasn’t.

FIFA asks us to join a country to visit a state that criminalizes homosexuality and pretend this is a festival for the world

FIFA asks us to join a country to visit a state that criminalizes homosexuality and pretend this is a festival for the world

Qatar may have large stadiums and subway trains running on time, but the smell of fear and the smell of pain will never fade

Qatar may have large stadiums and subway trains running on time, but the smell of fear and the smell of pain will never fade

Norwegian federation president Lise Klaveness was right when she told some home truths in Doha at the FIFA annual congress on Thursday and said that the principles of football were ignored when Qatar won the game in 2010. “Human rights, equality, democracy: the basic interests of football weren’t in the 11 starters until many years later, ‘he said.

And so we will be asked to present ourselves to a winter World Cup in a country with little tradition as a football fan, a country where a group of football fans are afraid of limestone, a country that could not host the tournament when it should have been. hosted, a country that has earned the right to host it in the most dubious circumstances, a country that has built the tournament on the bones of migrant workers.

The best World Cup ever? Do not make me laugh. The football might be good, the goals might be spectacular, the subway might run on time, the air conditioning in the stadiums might feel like a gentle breeze in the desert heat, but none of this will get rid of the stench of corruption and the smell of fear and the smell of pain and the pain of guilt that will hang over Qatar 2022.

THE FANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO BOO, BUT IT DOESN’T HELP YOUR TEAM

A major victory in the field of civil liberties was achieved last week when we established without a shadow of a doubt the inalienable right of England fans to boo their team’s players because they have paid the price of admission and can sing whatever they want.

Some were so outraged by the suggestion that making fun of Harry Maguire might not be the best way to encourage him to play well that they interpreted it as another sign of the snowflake apocalypse.

Harry Maguire, booed by England fans, could bring the team back to the days when players could not play freely for fear of making mistakes: a return to mediocrity

Harry Maguire, booed by England fans, could bring the team back to the days when players could not play freely for fear of making mistakes: a return to mediocrity

After all, what will become of the world if you can’t whistle one of your own? The fact is, no one has ever questioned fans’ right to boo their players. It seems reasonable to point out that it won’t help your team.

Maybe we want to go back to a time when players hated playing for England because they were worried about the club they would get from the press. Maybe we want to go back to a time when England players couldn’t play free because they knew that if they made a mistake, they would be targeted by the public.

Maybe we want to go back to the days when we didn’t make it to the semifinals, then to the final in subsequent tournaments. A return to mediocrity is our right. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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