Qatar’s World Cup has hurt football, so I won’t go.

Photo of author

By Creative Media News

As the tournament director for Euro 2024, I am meeting numerous individuals from the vast German football community. They are children in jerseys with whom I take selfies, youth coaches who teach their players the rules, and club presidents who have volunteered for decades. They all enjoy the levity of football, recognize its educational value, and recognize its significance to our community.

When discussing Qatar, however, their tone becomes more serious. Many contemplate missing a World Cup for the first time on purpose. In the past, the World Cup was a folk festival and a lifelong introduction to football for children. Today, some amateur clubs are contemplating storing their beer tables and screens.

Qatar's world cup has hurt football, so i won't go.
Qatar's world cup has hurt football, so i won't go.

This demonstrates to me once again that awarding the World Cup to Qatar was a mistake. It is out of place there.

Even the FIFA procedure presented difficulties. It was unprecedented for two tournaments to be awarded simultaneously for the first time. Qatar and Russia won the bids, although the competition was fiercer. The Qatari match schedule had to be moved from summer to winter. Initially, the heat in the desert had not been considered, even though an internal Fifa report had cautioned against it and pointed out other flaws in Qatar’s bid.

December 2010 must have been determined by additional factors. Many of Fifa’s 24 elected officials were subsequently banned, punished, or legally prosecuted; two were suspended before the election.

Another lesson from Qatar is that human rights must become an essential criterion for major sporting events in the future. In response to criticism from fans and media research, Qatar has made progress by ratifying international agreements and instituting a minimum wage. However, homosexuals are still criminalized, women do not have the same rights as men, and press and speech freedoms are restricted.

Qatars world cup
Qatar's world cup has hurt football, so i won't go.

The conditions for the migrant workers, without whom the World Cup would not be possible, are deplorable. Their deaths were accepted without investigation, and their families have not compensated adequately. This is what the Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s human rights experts say. Qatar has accepted wrongdoing.

According to Forbes, the World Cup will cost at least $150bn (£128bn), which is around 10 times more than the previous most costly World Cup, which was held in Russia. In a country of Kosovo’s size and Berlin’s population, there are eight ultramodern, air-conditioned stadiums.

There is no fan culture that this would benefit. Frequently, fewer than one thousand people attend matches in the Qatari professional league. In Qatar, football is not a popular amateur sport, and ladies have virtually no opportunities to play. This is sometimes referred to as the unreliability of a football tournament.

The strategy of holding the World Cup in a new region is correct. In 2010, it was held for the first time in Africa. Before that, I had traveled to South Africa as a player to familiarise myself with the host country and the playing conditions. As there are countries with a football history in the Middle East, a World Cup may have contributed positively to football culture there.

Or, when considering the entire Arabic-speaking world, Morocco and Algeria. West Germany faced Morocco during the 1970 World Cup and fell to Algeria in 1982. Before winning the title in 2014, we had to play Algeria for extra time in the round of 16; so many Algerian fans traveled to Porto Alegre that it seemed like an away game. Qatar has never made it to the World Cup.

Nonetheless, this tiny nation won the bid on the first try. Many fans from around the world will have to travel to and from matches via neighboring countries. There will be hired influencers in the stadiums to create an atmosphere and public relations on social media. As a football fan, I find this atmosphere uninteresting. If my position as tournament director had required it, I would have traveled to Qatar. Given that this is not the case, I will remain at home.

In several nations, teams have been requested to boycott the competition. This is something that each individual must decide for himself. I believe it is appropriate for Germany to participate, and I would be pleased if we won the global championship. Qatar is a western economic partner and energy provider, Germany maintains diplomatic links with Qatar, and the decision dates back 12 years.

Everyone is responsible for answering whether or not they watch sports on television. I will assert that the national team is vital. Their success will determine whether or not Germany hosts the European Championship in 2024. The squad must do better in Qatar than in the previous two editions if the tournament is to be a success.

Even if the championship is in Doha, I will turn on the television. A World Cup is a terrific event in theory. In terms of sports, a tournament of countries is more unpredictable, with more teams having a chance to win the championship, than the Champions League and many national leagues, in which competition is nearly frozen. Conditions in Qatar may be conducive to surprises. The World Cup takes place in the middle of the season, and the teams have almost no time to prepare.

South America could yet make a comeback. Perhaps an African nation will defeat a great football power, or a modest European nation will reach the final, as Croatia did in 2018. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will depart from the global scene. A new star might form.

It is not a contradiction to examine the political background of the World Cup and still celebrate it as a festival. It is not a betrayal of our beliefs to have a beer with friends and talk loudly about sports and other topics. Another concern is whether or not this World Cup will be the most significant. It is winter in Europe, and human rights in the host country are negotiable.

However, there is a human desire to congregate. A World Cup is also an experience shared by like-minded individuals. Due to its unique conditions, Europe can increase its solidarity and resilience.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content