Once again the Europeans have managed to get it completely wrong. Greece and Ireland were bad enough, but this time it’s serious: UEFA’s decision to award the world’s most coveted sporting event to Russia and Qatar as hosts of the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 is rife with fraud. Russia? A vast criminal enterprise where the national Mafia works hand-in-glove with the government? Where reporters and legal servants suffer regular beatings and road side assassinations? Qatar? A nation where it is illegal to be drunk in public, whose human rights abuses are ignored, still employs a legal form of slavery, and has a population of less than 2 million? This is the future of the “world’s game?”
If South Africa gave us the vuvuzelas, Qatar will be the cup of dehydration. With temperatures in the summer between 105 to 120, how is the pitch suppose to maintain its luster — let alone keep the players on it alive? Needless to mention Qatar has yet to make it to a world-cup — an excellent qualification for the host.
Past World Cups have posted upwards of 400,000 visitors. When that is over 15% of your total population, you know you have a problem. Qatar promises to keep the event carbon neutral. How green is it to build 5 stadiums and over 100,000 hotel rooms to never be used again? Hailing a cab will become the real sport.
At least the tournament brought economic rejuvenation and much needed pride to South Africa. Qatar is the second wealthiest nation in the world per capita. The Emir’s ability to throw so much of his nation’s wealth in any direction he chooses is indeed majestic, but should it be a qualification for hosting the world cup? I guess it depends which pocket you throw it into.
So my hands clap in stunned tribute to the incompetence of UEFA. Not only will they have to explain to their top sponsors that the games will be airing between 2 AM and 6 AM in the morning in the United States, but yes: “Mr. Anheuser Busch, do you have any non-alcoholic beverages you want to promote?” “Can we cover-up those scantily clad blondes?” Will Hebrew National buy in-stadium billboard space?
In the worlds’ game, from the slums of Sao Paulo to the mountains of Nepal, the message is clear, that the World Cup can be bought and will be coming soon — to a sand dune.
Next — on to the land of the Tsars, Putin the First, proprietor. And then? Who can say — but we hear that the North Koreans are saving up.