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Slaves for football
October 4, 2013 12:08 PM   Subscribe

"The indispensable English footballer whose metatarsal will snap four weeks before the 2022 World Cup is currently 12 years old, but Fifa is already worrying stagily about the temperature in which he will perform disappointingly. As for the 12-year-old Nepalese boy whose family are unwittingly saving for the chance to send him off in a few years to die laying the foundations of a stadio-mall, or the 12-year-old Qatari boy wondering not when his people voted for this, but whether they'll ever vote for anything at all … well, it would be much easier if people did not concern themselves with them." The Guardian summarizes the current issues over the staging of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
posted by salishsea (23 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
2022 Slave Cup.
posted by aramaic at 12:12 PM on October 4, 2013


Happily, South Africa – Fifa's most recent ATM – rolled over very easily in 2010 [...]

There's a really crude joke in there somewhere.
posted by brand-gnu at 12:16 PM on October 4, 2013


"Qatar is basically a palace for 6% of the people there and a cockroach motel for everybody else."
posted by asterix at 12:16 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nice. I had just discovered that I enjoy watching the Word Cup, and now you tell me that it is a front for evil and debauchery of the most crude capitalist sort? Yay.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:18 PM on October 4, 2013


"I will say something crazy," declared its chillingly sane secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, back in April, "but less democracy is sometimes better for organising a World Cup." A statement that should for ever lay to rest Fifa's nonsense about the tournament's power to change the world for good.

The ghost of Avery Brundage nods his fiendish approval.
posted by elizardbits at 12:22 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Plans are afoot to make MetaTarsal the MiFi of the medical community.
posted by guiseroom at 12:24 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


There was a good comment on Reddit last month linking back to FIFA's reports on the different candidates. Haven't read the reports, but the commentator quoted some excerpts to imply that the voting was likely rigged.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:28 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Going To Maine: The voting was rigged. At least 3 members have been proved to have pocketed bribes, and there's good circumstantial evidence around others.

The Guardian has a good story about it.

Qatar hosting the World Cup is a terrible, terrible decision.
posted by sauril at 12:33 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now removing soccer from the List Of Professional Sports It's OK To Like. What's left you ask?

Chess Maybe?
I Think There Was A Thai Thing Where It's Like Volleyball With Bicycle Kicks, That Was Pretty Cool
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:33 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Nah, chess is rife with cheating allegations these days.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:44 PM on October 4, 2013


Migrant workers dying . . .
posted by bukvich at 12:54 PM on October 4, 2013


Has Al-Jazeera been covering this?
posted by rosswald at 12:54 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe this is just my American ignorance, but how has FIFA become so staggeringly corrupt and evil? What kind of oversight do they have? Like, how come developed nations aren't raising hue and cry over this sort of shit? It seems like FIFA's even worse than the Olympics, which is no easy feat.
posted by klangklangston at 1:17 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the Economist: The Middle East’s migrant workers: Forget about rights.
From the New York Times: Indentured Servitude in the Persian Gulf
posted by Going To Maine at 1:19 PM on October 4, 2013


Maybe this is just my American ignorance, but how has FIFA become so staggeringly corrupt and evil? What kind of oversight do they have? Like, how come developed nations aren't raising hue and cry over this sort of shit? It seems like FIFA's even worse than the Olympics, which is no easy feat.

Like many sport associations, they're based in Switzerland, which traditionally has been very lax on non-profit organisations, bribery, financial secrecy etc. If other governments investigate them, they accuse them of 'political interference' and threaten to ban their national team from competitions.
posted by kersplunk at 1:35 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Plus there's so much corruption throughout these organizations that even if someone managed to throw out the most corrupt bastards, you'd be left with either people who hid the bribe money better or were so far down the totem pole that they just don't know how to run a World Cup or an Olympic Games -- let us not forget that these really are huge multinational conglomerates, and the majority of the subsidiaries are in countries that are just as riddled with corruption, so good luck filling it with someone who won't be grabbing with both hands. You think anyone's willing to say, "We're just not going to have a World Cup 2022 while the virtuous newbies figure out what they're doing."?
posted by Etrigan at 1:45 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


This might be unpopular but I think a big problem in these associations is the one country one vote system. It's easy to bribe a bunch of tiny and/or poor countries who have no mass interest in the sport to get the votes to bring you over the line. Just in the last few weeks you had outgoing UCI (world cycling union, also based in Switzerland) president Pat McQuaid getting Thailand and Morocco to nominate him after his home country refused, and getting Malaysia to change the constitution to retroactively make it within the rules. Or the nominee for FIFA president who tried to bribe a bunch of small Caribbean countries.

There's a new Swiss bribery law due to come in by the way - until now bribery involving international sports federations (of which there are 65 in Switzerland) has been 100% legal as it doesn't involve government officials or price fixing.
posted by kersplunk at 2:14 PM on October 4, 2013


klangklangston: "Maybe this is just my American ignorance, but how has FIFA become so staggeringly corrupt and evil? "

American sports are, by world standards, really quite orderly and lacking in corruption and bad fan behavior. American sports are pretty closely overseen not just by rules about corporate and non-profit oversight that govern all such companies in the U.S. (and keep the financials relatively visible), but also by criminal corruption rules that are pretty strict because of the amount of gang and mob money that ran through sporting during the Prohibition era and the success that the U.S. had in combating that by cleaning up sports -- and frequently by the U.S. Congress when it runs out of better things to do and decides to hold hearings on baseball steroids or whatever. Gambling is also pretty tightly restricted in the U.S., and sporting events are widely seen as family events, so boorish behavior and scandal that undermines the integrity of the sport (match-fixing, ref-bribing, etc.) is only limitedly tolerated. So Americans are quite often shocked to see the level of corruption in sports that's common in some parts of the world, especially since major American sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, college) are typically national rather than international leagues.

Soccer in the U.S. in particular is viewed as a small, scrappy sport without the billions of dollars washing through it that basketball (for example) has, that leads to boorish players who love the money and not the game and money-making owners who don't care about the game or the city and all the things people complain about coming with professionalization and money into sports. But the fact is that soccer in most of the world is AWASH IN BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, and because it's such an international game, even when individual countries regulate it strictly, there's always somewhere for a corrupt player or owner or ref to go, and international organizations like FIFA are hard to oversee anyway. Anyway, soccer is a STAGGERINGLY popular game with UNIMAGINABLE amounts of money running through it. Where money flows, corruption follows, and it's typically been very difficult to manage that corruption in international sports, because national-level governments are more effective at criminal prosecution of individuals and imposing regulations on leagues.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:14 PM on October 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm still really angry that the world cup isn't going to happen in England, and each time a new revelation comes out it feels like rubbing salt into the wound.

I really want FIFA to say sorry guys, we made a mistake, lets have it in England where there's already most of the infrastructure, it won't be built on the backs of slave labour, and it sure as hell won't be too hot. I want Sepp Balatter to crawl into Buckingham palace, grovel at the feet of the Queen whilst self flagellating and sobbing his regrets over and over. I want FIFA in its entirety to fly to Nepal, where they'll have their bank accounts emptied to build local infrastructure, and they'll have their passports confiscated and be forced to build roads and dig ditches in the heat until they drop like flies.

I think this is probably why I've not been asked to organise any major sporting events in the near future.
posted by Ned G at 2:17 PM on October 4, 2013 [17 favorites]


The only way that corporate entities listen is if it affects their profits.

If you really care about this, then — just as with upcoming Olympics held in a backwards nation run by gangsters, or the NFL looking the other way at brain injuries or the MLB at steroid use — don't watch.

Just don't watch.

Don't give their advertisers your dollars.

Walk away.

You'll see change start to happen if you don't put your money in their pockets.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:47 PM on October 4, 2013


We really need more journalists / columnists like Marina Hyde.
"I will say something crazy," declared its [FIFA] chillingly sane secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, back in April, "but less democracy is sometimes better for organising a World Cup."
Panorama aired a documentry in 2010 FIFA's Dirty Secrets I and II
and from May this year One by One, Those Atop FIFA Are Falling.
Havelange was found guilty of corruption but his devils spawn Blatter is still polluting soccer.
posted by adamvasco at 6:01 AM on October 5, 2013


This might be unpopular but I think a big problem in these associations is the one country one vote system. It's easy to bribe a bunch of tiny and/or poor countries who have no mass interest in the sport to get the votes to bring you over the line.

If you used the 'don't really care about the sport' standard to kick countries out of FIFA, well, that'd be Canada and India gone. There's definitely bloc voting in FIFA, but, to be honest, part of me suspects that may be the price we pay for not simply deferring to Europe all the time.
posted by hoyland at 9:03 AM on October 5, 2013


Just don't watch.

Don't give their advertisers your dollars.

Walk away.

You'll see change start to happen if you don't put your money in their pockets.


Yeah, I'll get right on that: not pay attention to things that I love.
posted by grubi at 9:24 AM on October 8, 2013


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