Saturday, September 24, 2022

So you bought your very own World Cup…and everybody hates you 

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of opening your front door to find what you purchased on FIFA.com neatly packaged and waiting for you with the obedience and servitude of a domesticated pet. It wants you to ravage the packaging and swim in its murky pool of greed. To bask in its unforgiving spotlight as the world pokes, prods, and pisses on your joy for winning the rights to host the World Cup as the first country from “that part of the world.” That’s how the west refers to countries that are near and around Qatar. “That part of the world” is listed between “Black or African American” and “Hispanic or Latino” in the race and ethnicity box when applying for jobs at FIFA.com, or so I’m told. But to digress, the acerbic and weighted negativity is unprecedented for a World Cup host. It’s by far the most absurd and baffling decision taken by the mom & pop store known as FIFA.com to award this incredibly small Muslim faith-based country, with very little history of football, the world’s most sought-after international competition. It’s the equivalent of granting Richie Rich the CEO chair at FIFA HQ. 

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The rage is understandable. The Richie’s of Qatar have very little understanding about what the World Cup puritans want. Which are human rights for all and the freedom to practice their nationalism and hooliganism in a drunken stupor. They hate Qatar so much for being the host that their main argument is one of global PR; that there are victims in the making of this World Cup preparation. As if to say, that this is the first instance in the entire history of FIFA.com that there have been people mistreated or treated unfairly. It’s as though there must be the true reason hiding in the depths of this humanitarian outcry. I wonder, could it be the scheduling? Is the idea of a winter World Cup so abhorrent that the negativity is warranted? Nobody likes changes, especially football fans when it comes to their clubs. Not when they demand their chairman to splash out the cash on new player signings. Not when they ask for a new football manager when results aren’t going their way. Change seems to be a regular occurrence for the football fan so there must be an even deeper truth that might be so simplistic that it will cause some embarrassment at the mere utterance and unveiling. 

It’s booze. Alcohol or the illegal nature of drinking it in Qatar has dampened the enthusiasm. People want to drink while watching the sport. It’s been the case way before the advent of FIFA.com which is a viable gripe and grudge to carry. Drinking is part of the traditional makeup of sports. If you’ve seen a game on television, you would know that one of the main sponsors is some company that, ironically, wants you to drink responsibly. It’s as if every 4 weeks you go to a restaurant and order an appetizer and a main dish then the waiter comes out and offers you a free dessert. This has been happening every single time since you were a little lad back in 1930. On the day of your 100th birthday in the year 2022, you are told there are no free desserts. You will then most likely notice the human rights violations happening in that restaurant. 

The truth is only Qatar is happy about the power they are wielding for having this World Cup in “that part of the world.” They’ve even enjoyed jabbing the haters by moving the start date a day earlier when their national team will play in the opening match against Ecuador. That’s the only game that day. That’s by far the most egregious crime from the set. Forcing the world to not only partake in the socially demanded ritual of watching the World Cup but also force us to endure 90mins of Ecuador vs whoever Qatar managed to naturalize and get away with it. The fact is the hate is warranted because they never should have been offered the rights. The reason they have it is partly money and partly for geopolitical reasons given FIFA’s ambition to host a World Cup in “that part of the world.” Qatar had the right funds, the ideal location, and the only nation stable enough so there’s no reason to hate the player but, if you want to moan, hate the game. You can write to FIFA in the contact section at FIFA.com.

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