FIFA ‘Uncovered’ … | Arseblog … an Arsenal blog

Good morning to all.

With the World Cup just around the corner, if you have a Netflix account, you must watch the documentary FIFA Uncovered. I’m halfway through episode 3 of 4 so I’ll wait until the end to give a full review/assessment, but it won’t surprise anyone that people in power use their positions for personal gain.

Obviously there is more to say, and I have more to see, but so far there has been direct testimony about how certain members of the executive committee were promised money for ‘football projects for their federation’ in exchange for voting for Qatar’s bid for host this next World Cup. It is unclear how much of that money went to said soccer projects.

Mohammed bin Hammam was a former FIFA member who helped Qatar’s bid team get in touch with people who had votes. He was banned for life by the FIFA ethics committee in 2011, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport annulled that ban a year later, but 6 months later, FIFA again banned her for life. By the way, the punishment from the FIFA ethics committee must be a bit like being convicted of murder by Judge Jack the Ripper.

It’s a fascinating visualization and while there is a lot of focus on Qatar, clearly the main problem is FIFA itself. If there were questions about Russia in 2018 and previous tournaments/decisions, the common denominator is the governing body of football. It is much more of a political organization than a sports one, and politics, money and corruption go hand in hand. Which is not to say that Qatar is an innocent party, although they insist everything was in order (they would, right?), but what does that old saying say? Do not hate the player hate the game.

Qatar. Russia. they are players. Football should be the game, but the game is FIFA and how much money it can make for those who feel entitled to take their share. It’s not just financial too. It’s what a World Cup can do for reputation. A veneer of respectability. Everyone knew what Vladimir Putin was before 2018, but he used the World Cup to make sure there was more talk about hosting a soccer tournament than about Russia’s involvement in the bombing of hospitals in Syria and everything else. .

I don’t know if it’s progress per se, but this time there is more focus on the host country. The idea of ​​taking the World Cup to different parts of the world and developing the game there, and allowing fans in that part of the world to see players they might never see otherwise, is clearly not a bad one in theory. But obviously this is not a World Cup designed for fans. And it’s certainly not a World Cup that should be held because of how murky the process was and what it took to make it happen.

I don’t mean the billions spent, I mean the lives lost. The figures on migrant workers there are not always easy to verify, but there have been so many testimonials about working conditions, wages and deaths that it is impossible to ignore them. I recommend reading David Squire’s cartoons for The Guardian, highlighting the work done by journalist Pete Pattison. You can read them here: 1 – 2 – 3. The ongoing work of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch is important as we calculate the cost of this tournament.

Much has been made about the treatment of LGBTQ+ people in Qatar. That’s positive, but I don’t know that something is going to change there because of a World Cup. However, it might prove that it’s easier to live your life as a gay person elsewhere, even if we need to continue to support them in this part of the world as well. It’s better, but it’s far from perfect.

If the coverage of this World Cup consistently discussed the many and varied issues surrounding it, with varying degrees of seriousness, that’s a good thing. It should be a matter of self-reflection, because if we demand that the governing body of a sport be free from corruption and punished for its transgressions, shouldn’t that be the case for real governments, from local to national? If it’s not acceptable for football, it shouldn’t be for things that are much more important.

However, from a footballing perspective, many of us see Gianni Infantino’s ill-tempered weasel words and roll our eyes. He is more of the same. A man without credibility who says things that few really believe. So what about soccer, this game we love? Don’t you deserve better? Doesn’t the World Cup, a tournament that is special because we have all grown up with it and experienced it as a formative part of our football lives, deserve better than being tarnished by these greedy men? these greedy, venal and corrupt thieves?

How it changes, I’m not sure. But if this doesn’t trigger something, then nothing will, and that will be more depressing than any World Cup destination award.

See you tomorrow.

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