With Rangers getting a desperately-needed few weeks of rest, it’s time for the World Cup. And it’s safe to say this world cup, while ‘handy’ for Rangers in view of our injuries and form, is nevertheless a complete disgrace and a violation of human rights.
That Rangers only have one player in Qatar is a blessing in disguise, because while we’d want more of our players playing at that level, equally this tournament is deeply toxic by association and the less involved anyone is with it the better.
The reality is the most corrupt man around, Sepp Blatter, has himself admitted Qatar was ‘a mistake’. I mean, it was a ‘mistake’ that he willingly made and indeed bunged Michel Platini around £2M to persuade him and UEFA to vote for Qatar as well, something which both men were found guilty of.
But the fact is Jurgen Klopp is absolutely correct – the press barely protested this award, they did very little to use their influence to stop it, and end result? A corrupt world cup, paid for by blood money and costing hundreds of lives in sub-human conditions for preparation.
A country which calls homosexuality ‘damage in the mind’, and outlaws all LGBT rights, while barely acknowledging women either. It’s not the absolute worst regime in the Middle East, but it’s far from liberal, and giving a democratic world cup to such a right-wing nation is extremely short-sighted.
But the corruption is not just FIFA and UEFA and Qatar itself – you have Gary Neville slaughtering the tournament, supporting the worker rights, before getting paid hundreds of thousands if not millions to work for Qatari-state broadcaster BEIN Sports during the tournament. He claims he’ll use his chance and platform to talk about that stuff, will he hell.
So let’s not pretend the corruption is isolated purely to the nation that holds this.
Around 6500 migrant workers imported from impoverished nations died during construction, be those deaths directly from their work or other causes we can’t exactly know, but we know the conditions were absolutely horrific and not suitable for human labour.
Giving the world cup to a country which hits around 50C in summer was just absolutely mental, literally mental, leading to a winter world cup instead, which has utterly torn to shreds the integrity of football and its scheduling to say the least.
As we say, we’re no hypocrites – Rangers are a beneficiary of the timing, thanks to our diabolical injuries, but very few others are.
But end of the day, this was all about greed, corruption, profit and money. It had no regard for human life or the integrity of football.
And for the current president Infantino to tell folks to shut up about politics and concentrate on football is about as tone-deaf as it gets – what did he think was going to happen with a world cup in this place? That everyone would just accept it and get on with it?
The only lesson to learn from this is how low humans sink for money. But that’s not a lesson at all, is it?