Being against the Qatar world cup is not prejudice and bias. It is a perfectly reasonable stance



By Tony Attwood

The argument is being put that the western democracies are in no position to critise Qatar or Infantino because, as Infantino suggested, Europe should start by apologizing for its behaviour over the course of the last 3,000 years before giving lessons to anyone else.

Put another way, the west was anti-democratic, anti-women, and religiously fanatical for centuries, so how dare it criticse Qatar for being anti-democratic, anti-women and religiously fanatical?

Here’s another approach: “Western companies that earn millions on Qatari soil have never asked for improvements in workers’ rights, so as not to threaten their own profitability.”

And another point…

“In Switzerland, when Credit Suisse was saved by Qatar, who was moved? Nobody. The bank received a capital injection of 6 billion francs from the Qatari sovereign wealth fund in 2011…”

Or try considering the fact that western countries have been upping the level of gas that they buy from Qatar in order to replace the gas they can’t get from Russia.  Did anyone raise the issue of human rights then?

One more: “Qatar is also one of the biggest customers of French arms sales: what have the valiant French boycotters of the World Cup to say about this?”

Or put another way, as outlined by an editorial in The Economist : “These criticisms are tinged with blind prejudice.”

And there is a lot in all this.   But the argument suddenly falls to bits when it reaches its conclusion that “criticizing others has become our national sport in the West…. So, instead of questioning ourselves about our own practices… we denounce and value ourselves cheaply.”

All of which would probably make a good argument if it were not for one thing.   The world cup in Qatar is not what we are complaining about.   Untold, for example, has been highlighting the enormity of the Infantino problem and the enormity of the Fifa problem for several years.

The bidding for the world cup which led to the finals being given to Qatar was clearly flawed and corrupt.   The corruption of Infantino has been exposed through his behaviour in leaving Switzerland while being questioned on very serious matters of corrupt meetings with the head of the Swiss judicial system.

Disliking and distrusting Infantino and Fifa is, on the basis of the evidence around, a perfectly reasonable stance to take, and to dress it all up as if we are just against having a world cup in Qatar is a typical, but still rather clever, diversionary tactic.   Rather like Infantino’s long and rambling speech.

The fact is that issues in Qatar are part of the problem with Fifa.  It doesn’t matter whether we in the west “are totally illegitimate to lecture the rest of the world.”   What does matter is if we see corruption in high office and just ignore it – and leaving Infantino in charge of Fifa is doing just that.

As the article says, “all states, including the West, have always acted according to their interests.”   But Fifa is not a state.  Fifa is an organisation that the Football Association in England supports financially.   And Fifa is clearly a corrupt and untrustworthy organization.

As a taxpayer of the United Kingdom I do not want a fraction of a farthing of the money I give to the state every month in taxation, spent on Qatar, or Fifa.  Of course, I am one voice, and the issue of spending tax payers’ money supporting Fifa via the FA is never a defining point in any political party’s manifesto.

And because of that all I can do is make my point here.

Ram Etwaree said on his Facebook page, “Infantino held up a mirror to us. And we refuse to see our true face.”  A clever image but it has little to do with reality.  Fifa is a corrupt organisation, and Infantino is under investigation for being a crook.  I would personally prefer it if the government of my country did not keep funding the FA while it in turn keeps giving some of the taxpayers’ money it gets, to Fifa, run by Infantino.  And that is the point.

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9 Replies to “Being against the Qatar world cup is not prejudice and bias. It is a perfectly reasonable stance”

  1. Born and raised as a Cockney and a Gunner all I can do is look at the facts regarding Qatar , seeing the corruption going on there and the wider scheme of things which at some point in the future will impact on Arsenal ,(the club dearest to my heart).
    So there’s not too many options left for me . At the moment Ive resolved to not turn on a TV or radio, I don’t want to be counted among the millions watching or hearing the world cup . What I have done though is check that no Arsenal player gets injured .
    I must say although pleased for young Bukayo I wish Iran had won emphatically and I I could see our players eliminated a.s.a.p. So bitter disappointment on the score so far .
    I was hoping for an Iran Qatar final and the prospect of people opting to do anything other than turn on a TV set to watch the WC . An audience of zero would have been rather jolly .

  2. I’m seeing how the european teams are backing down on the rainbow armband for fear of sanction of a yellow card…

    and at the same time, the iranian players not singing their national anthem which could send them straight to prison or death once back in Iran and I just wonder about the importance of things and the notion of courage.

    And we fans, through our respective countries end up financing FIFA ?!?!

  3. Thankfully, the rest of world the world is not as foolish as you. To suggest that Qatar is the only nation that has issues is absurd. every country could be accounted for their crimes, including the country you reside in. Anti this and Anti that. English and west history is not the world history, the treatment of women etc could vary, if you truly think it is the case that the exact same treatment that the British history has is the exact same over there, than you are completely naive. without a doubt Qatar can make immense improvements, but so can every Nation. have we forgotten what happened in iraq?? it wasnt long ago now, this was much worse than what you are trying to put forth. You are a footballing page, Sure you can influence to make better changes, but to overstep bounds beyond limitations is just ludicrous. We have War crimes around the world, most recently russia, before this syria and china against uyghur. and Many more. The BBC and FA also need a kick up their back sides and im glad Fifa has, there are UNLIMITED issues to speak about, it is impossible for football to address these and they should NOT. players can take all the knee they want, when will we have black and asian referees? or a chairman of the Fa? The rich get richer in this nation, the poor get poorer, why is the cost of living so high now, these are simple basics that can easily be sorted but is not. STOP trying to fix the problems of others when you have far too many on your home turf. Stick to football, your knowledge there does not suck nor stink

  4. Isn’t it ironic that Qatar were never able to really get into the opening game, and just now, their arch-rival/enemy Saudi Arabia beat Argentina, in the Qatar WC, giving the whole arab and muslim world a day of sports glory for the ages, like Senegal beating France in 2002 and a few others in the past. Money can’t buy you everything, or rather in football money can buy you anything but just for one of you.

    My bet is we are not done with surprises…

    I mean…it doesn’t get any more twisted then this, does it ?

  5. Let arteta Build
    The corruption of Infantino, FIFA, and yes the English FA and other national football associations and the the abuse of non-Western workers at stadia by Qatar are not mentioned in your screed against Tony Attwood and the West. Not to mention bribing FA’s around the world to support their bid for a tournament to be held in an inhospitable climate in the middle of the regular season of most of the football playing world necessitating scheduling changes affecting entire nations. These actions are beneath your notice? Or comprehension?
    I’m not having it. Perhaps if you come down from your high horse and stop preaching you’d see the entire picture. Many of the things you’re criticising the West about are being perpetrated by Qatar right now. Didn’t notice? Why?

    P.S. History tells me that the West (by which you mean Europe) were not even nations let alone exploiters 3,000 years ago.

  6. Goonersince72

    you failed to understand my point, before accusing someone of being ‘on a high horse’ first try understanding the meaning. The world does not revolve around europe, if england or any european country held the tournament why should these countries forget the rules and tradition and bend over for a football tournament? Fifa must respect the rules for each country and fans/ tourist must do the same. you would not be happy of alcohol, for example, was banned every world cup when held in europe, even though it is allowed. You should take a long hard look at yourself and see how prejudice you are.

    ‘The corruption of Infantino, FIFA, and yes the English FA and other national football associations and the the abuse of non-Western workers at stadia by Qatar are not mentioned in your screed against Tony Attwood and the West’

    I do not care if you cant have it, you failed with your conscious bias to understand many things, most importantly you have almost 0 knowledge and proof about these corruptions, yes there is corruption, but speaking about matters which both you and i cannot even begin to prove, only speculate. My side point to tony is, he is becoming the very thing that he preaches against regarding media. I have many friends who live in Qatar btw, moved from here. its ironic that the ones who complain the most are ones who understand and have experienced these places the least

  7. Let arteta Build
    The only valid point you made in your biased post was about the lack of non-white referees. Inexcusable.
    And in your response to me you cherry picked points I made to make your case. Transparent. Your conclusion that I’m “prejudice”? Based on some point about alcohol? LOL, I never mentioned it. Why are you defending Qatar re the abuses? You need go no further than Untold Arsenal to find the excellent work done by the Swiss press and courts regarding Qatar. Unlike yours, there are research and facts behind the original post by Tony Attwood. Perhaps you should have a look or are you just “prejudice” against Europeans?

    Full Disclosure: I’m from the US, lived in London and am now retired in Florida (US). BTW, most Americans don’t form their opinions based on the availability of alcohol.

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