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Monday, November 03, 2014

The Stupidity and Corruption of FIFA's Decision to Host the World Cup in Qatar

Before you dismiss me as a first-world, American, economic imperialist. . .

1.  It is hot in the summers in Qatar, so much so that today FIFA announced that it might move the 2022 World Cup to winter time.  Read here for more details.

2.  There is the issue of corruption and what officials from Qatar might have done to convince the FIFA board to choose Qatar in the first place.  Read the linked article for more on that, too.  Why that might be okay mystifies -- is it because that's the way things get done over there or because understated bigots hold those in Qatar to much lower standards than say to those that those in the West are held?  (And why would that be okay?)

3.  Russia 2018 ought to be interesting given Putin's issues in Ukraine and Russia's overall world image.  Brazil gave some hope to FIFA in that despite major political unrest during the Confederations Cups and some economic issues, it pulled it off and did it well. 

Still . . .



What's the third thing? 

Because there usually is a third thing. 

Here's to hoping that the corruption didn't happen and the event gets moved to the winter, that the stadiums get built and that people can travel there safely and enjoy themselves.  A lot can happen between now and 2022 -- oil prices can continue to drop, reducing the income of the Qataris, and the political climate of the Middle East can change dramatically. 

Then again, things could stay the same, too, and Qatar can pull off another soccer surprise, this after somehow getting the jersey sponsorship for one of the world's most beloved teams, Barcelona.  Perhaps after the World Cup the government will try to turn the Qatari Super League (or its equivalent) into a new English Premier League.

After all, if they have the money to host the World Cup and to sponsor Barcelona, the government and the country's wealthiest citizens probably have the funds to start a formidable league. 

But for right now, the whole thing doesn't make a lot of sense.


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