Credit: Nicolas Vadot via Soccer Politics / The Politics of Football
There isn’t often great shock when the President of FIFA Sepp Blatter’s mouth opens and stupidity is heard. This is the man who has made a string of ridiculous assertions that have failed to address a whole number of “isms” and “obias” – Denying a that there is a problem with racism in football, being blind to sexism, and ignorant of homophobia.
Blatter on racism, has gone from “no problem, just shake hands and move on”, to “dock points and relegate”, to “don’t dock points and relegate”.
A man who is accused of being corrupt and running a corrupt organisation but never dares to sue for libel, went on to accuse his critics of racism.
Anyway, having been immune from shock at what comes out of his mouth, he surpassed himself by revealing that his committee has awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. There isn’t one reason that Qatar should not host the games. It was a bad decision from a footballing view and a political view.
Incredibly, a member of the FIFA committee has just announced that he had not noticed the 40c heat in Qatar. Apparently when visiting, he stepped from air-conditioned car, to air-conditioned hotel and never thought to ask “what’s it like outside?” Well let me answer that for you. It’s too hot. Not just too hot to play, but too hot politically.
Maybe FIFA should have looked at the politics more closely:
1. Women — forget going. Look at your rights under the applicable sharia law. Support a team and you might be in trouble. Read the rape laws. Any sexual assault and the law blames the victim. 16 months were given to a Westerner raped by her colleague because she could not get the 4 independent male witnesses she was required.
2. Alcohol — forget that. Anyone caught drinking faces a very tough punishment.
3. Gays — an offence. Forget supporting your team if you don’t conform to Qatari standards.
Those are the WAG’s of Qatar.
Don’t worry though, if Israel qualifies (from the European Group, not its natural geographical group), the players won’t be able to go. An Israeli passport will not be recognized as a legitimate travel document. Seriously the Arab and Jewish Israeli players will not be able to go, unless they pretend to be from another country. You can see the problem when they slip on another team’s kit to avoid detection, the fans ready to chant “come on the Zionist entity” won’t have a team to cheer on. Fortunately they won’t get in for the reason that the team won’t. Nor will supporters of other teams who have an Israeli stamp in their passport. That’s my chances of watching England gone.
Qatar is a very wealthy country, with enormous natural oil and gas reserves. Its population is very wealthy. It has enough money to afford the slaves to build its football stadia. So far over 500 have died. You win the World Cup, your team gets the trophy, you get a medal and the knowledge that you have par taken in the deaths of hundreds of people who were sacrificed for you to play.
Qatar funds terrorism. It is therefore a terrorist. It doesn’t just finance Hamas, but so many evil groups across the globe, killing, Muslims, Christians and Jews. If you pay for the rockets fired at Israel, you are as evil as the person who fires the rockets. If you fund terrorism, you are a terrorist. Qatar hosted the Hamas terrorists in luxury hotels while the innocents of Gaza died as a result of their actions.
And yet, even though it’s all there for people to read, FIFA didn’t notice the terrorism, but then it didn’t notice the misogyny and didn’t notice the homophobia, or the slavery but then they didn’t notice the weather. It’s as if the committee were dazzled by the wealth.
Mark Lewis is an English lawyer and Stategic Advisor. Follow him on twitter.