Perhaps it’s not just FIFA who needs to take a long hard look at themselves…
Last year, amongst a flurry of articles, reports and exclusives accusing and alleging corruption at the heart of FIFA, Sepp Blatter proclaimed that the storm against the organisation and particularly its choice to select Qatar as the host for the 2022 World Cup was down to racism and discrimination.
“There is a sort of storm against Fifa relating to the Qatar World Cup,” Blatter said, reports BBC. “Sadly there’s a great deal of discrimination and racism.”
It was a claim that’s easy to dismiss given the sheer amount of evidence that points to something rotten at the heart of FIFA, but, even in a very minor sense, does Blatter have a point?
Granted, the majority of those opposed to Qatar have a plethora of reasons in their arsenal to object to the event; from human rights violations to extreme heat but is another reason for objection because the World Cup is taking place in a Middle Eastern country?
It might sound like a ridiculous issue but the sheer repugnance or lack of option to moving the event from a summer to the winter smells just as foul as FIFA’s bank statements.
By saying it’s unfeasible or unworkable to change the World Cup to such a timescale – and this is purely for health, not financial reasons – is to essentially cut off an entire section of countries from ever having the ability to host the tournament… To finely cut out a nice, Middle East-sized, section on the map of where the World cup can never take place.
Without any thought of a compromise to parts of the usual World Cup procedure and ensure that it could actually be possible to have the tournament in an area of the world that is yet to taste its splendour, the response is simply; “It’s too hard.”
Yes, it might impact European leagues more severely than others but so do the majority of other competitions and barely anyone bats an eye-lid, yet as soon as it’s suggest taking place in the Gulf it’s completely unworkable.
And this despite UEFA giving its full backing to the tournament as well as FIFA willing to alter several other events such as the Africa Cup of Nations and the length of the Qatar tournament whilst also rescheduling other footnalling events.
What’s essentially happening is FIFA is finding solutions to these problems, they’re giving the world the ability to enlighten an area of the globe that hasn’t yet fallen in love with the beautiful game but people are kicking up a fuss because it might be slightly inconvenient.
Rather than see the untold benefits it could bring, many would rather focus on the negative, stick to the status quo and prevent any expansion or opening up of borders in the name of frank isolationism.
In fact, given the amount of investment the owners of Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain have put into their clubs and the changes and improvement they are now bringing to their local areas of the clubs, particularly City, it just seems shocking that people would be so objectionable and against the idea of a World Cup in a country with, firstly, unlimited resources but secondly to an entirely new nation and world area of people.
Just think of not only the benefits it could bring to the Middle Eastern areas of the world, but the improvements to football in general.
There’s a footballing oil well just waiting to be struck in Qatar and the Middle East, if only the world would see it.