Friday, November 18, 2022

And so there's a FIFA World Cup in Qatar just in case....

Photo by Tarek Chemaly (2007)

Well, so unless you have been living under a rock, probably you know that there's a FIFA World Cup being hosted by Qatar which will open on November 20th. 

Well, and also unless you have been living under a rock, you have most likely heard of the controversies.

Here are some in no specific order:

The thousands (estimates range between 6500 to 15000) of foreign workers of died of - wait for it - "natural causes" while building the stadia that will host the events.

The money that changed hands so as for Qatar to host the tournament (i.e. bribes). 

Article 296 of the penal code in Qatar stipulated five years of imprisonment over male homosexuality, and whereas there is no doubt homophobia is rampant in football, this still does make an incredibly odd situation for the LGBTQ community wishing to attend the events. 

Singer Dua Lipa made it perfectly clear she was not going to sing at the opening ceremony, neither will Shakira whose song Waka Waka (whereas released for the World Cup in South Africa in 2010) still reigns supreme as an anthem for the World Cup at large. Rod Stewart said he was offered a million Dollars to perform but declined.

And get this, Budweiser one of the FIFA main sponsors is in a tight spot - apparently 500 mls of beer will set you back about 14 Dollars - but now it seems that alcohol sale will be banned altogether inside the stadia with Budweiser even questioning how much its logo will be displayed during the tournament (just to be clear Bud zero is still allowed to be sold as it is Islamicaly compliant). Just in case you are wondering how Budweiser feels about it, it tweeted "well, this is awkward". The tweet was deleted subsequently.

The above are but a sample of the issues revolving around the current World Cup.

Now, if you are in Lebanon, basically a country literally falling apart at the seams at this point, and where the Brazil/Germany football dichotomy reigns supreme, there is still right now little to no attention around the issue. People are much more focused towards the floundering economy, their ability to literally survive the month, being able to secure food, and other such basic necessities.

 So I guess this saves the Lebanon one more dilemma of whether to watch the World Cup or not (as of now, teleliban still does not have the right to broadcast the tournament but 2 days is a long time in Lebanon).