13.2 C
Johannesburg
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
HomeNewsFIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar policies won’t dampen the spirit of the...

FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar policies won’t dampen the spirit of the biggest sporting event in the world

FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar policies won’t dampen the spirit of the biggest sporting event in the world

- Advertisement -

Editorial

Johannesburg – A lifetime of memories are about to be made, heroes born, villains established and another champion of the biggest sporting event in the world crowned as the 2022 Qatar World Cup takes centre stage.

We’ve all read of the controversies surrounding the awarding of the global showpiece to the Middle Eastern country: the human rights violations, the social climate, and extremes surrounding weather conditions present new challenges for the world’s best players.

It’s a conflicting moment. The tiny emirate has used its immense wealth to build brand-new stadiums, build hotels and create hundreds of kilometres of roads and rail literally in the middle of the desert.

This is the pinnacle of world sport – to its millions of fans at least. Including the gay fans.

But Qatar’s official policy of homophobia dictates anyone involved in gay relations, of any kind, is liable to be arrested and jailed.

And then came the dreaded no-alcohol backtrack bombshell, a mere 48 hours before the opening ceremony. The fans from the beer-drinking nations must be spitting mad, except for those who will likely commute from the more liberal Dubai for the duration of the tournament.

It is far from an ideal situation. No one will speak out, because there’s no money in it to take a stand, but plenty of money for just going along with it.

Sports boycotts can work. They were disproportionately effective in bringing about an end to apartheid, and no one seriously believes that sport and politics shouldn’t mix – they are inseparable.

An estimated 1.2 million fans have bought three million tickets to watch the 64 matches – including 146 000 American fans, 91 000 from the UK and 61 000 Argentinians.

This surge of football lovers to an incredibly restricted Qatar probably suggests the spectacle will not fall short of the expected atmosphere, celebrations and iconic moments the World Cup is best known for.

Let’s hope for a controversy-free World Cup.

The Saturday Star

Original Article

- Advertisement -
RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular

- Advertisment -