• Beyond the Canvas

Football, human rights, fossil fuels and geopolitics.

The 22nd FIFA World Cup has kicked off. Italy did not qualify for the event, which I'm now almost pleased about as it's all turning into an awful mess for a number of rather obvious reasons.

  1. Corruption. Despite the absence of a definitive smoking gun, there is strong evidence that the bidding process was rigged (not for the first time) and that, much to no one's surprise, hefty bribes were paid.

  2. Workers' exploitation. The astronomical $220 billion infrastructure budget was kept down by making savings on labour costs. In addition to the abusive working conditions dictated by the kafala system workers are subjected to, it is estimated that at least 6,500 people have died.

  3. Sportwashing. This giant exercise in soft power cannot erase the appalling human right record Qatar has when it comes to freedom of expression, LGBTQIA+ people and women. And while the Iranian players have shown the world what courage looks like, others have reneged on their promises for fear of a yellow card.

  4. Money. It is no secret that Qatar has invested much of its huge wealth in Britain, but it's worth remembering that this relationship is a two-way street, and that it has been cultivated over decades of multibillion-pound arms deals, state visits, royal friendships and much-needed gas imports. This means that the British ruling elites have played a crucial role in creating and supporting the Qatari oil and gas state.

#fifaworldcup #boycott #football #qatar #humanrights #kafala #oil #hypocrisy #blog #blogger #beyondthecanvasblog

Orkhan Huseynov

Oil Drinking, 2011 (still)

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