Friday, December 02, 2022

World Cup Boycott Exemption

I decided a few years ago I would have to boycott the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar. For all the reasons that are quite well-known. My main reason is that it was awarded fraudulently to a nation completely unsuited to hosting the event that was put out to tender. And all the other scandals, injuries and deaths that followed flow from that. 

Once awarded the summer World Cup, Qatar said "oh it will be too hot so we'll do it in winter" and FIFA said oh sure, we'll just get every league in the world to have a massive mid season break. So Qatar imported thousands of guest workers to build eight stadiums in their small country.

My boycott has been pretty hard, especially missing Australia's games - they have won two out of three (I expected one draw at best). I'm avoiding the football podcasts I would usually listen to, not reading about it; just denying FIFA my eyes and ears as much as I can.

Does this do anyone any good? It's just a line in the sand for myself really. The absence of this massive quadrennial event in my personal memory will be a reminder of what is important to me. Football has been very important since I started playing as a kid but integrity and human rights have to come before football. That's my personal standard and I do not mean to impose it on anyone else.

But – I have been imposing it on my family. Marcus is going away in March, and chances to do things together are precious. He has been watching Australia's games on his own; and now we have our biggest match since 2006 he wants to watch it with me. He went off and did some research on who is doing good work on human rights in the Middle East, and he suggested we both donate to Amnesty International, then watch the game.

So that's it, for as long as Australia continue in the World Cup I will be treating it as pay-per-view. We play Argentina on Sunday morning our time – go Socceroos!

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