Qatar’s Pernicious Adventures

A successful campaign to host the World Cup in 2022 was meant to be the crowning sports achievement for Qatar, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe — but it is not turning out that way. An excerpt of Manthorpe’s new column:

Qatar_rel95From being the poster boy for a modernizing Middle East, the filthy rich Gulf state of Qatar has become a menace.

Next month the governing body of international soccer, FIFA, will receive a stack of evidence that Qatar splurged $5 million in bribes and other inducements to win the contest for host nation of the 2022 World Cup, the biggest and most popular global sporting event.

Unless the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee is smitten by an idiosyncratic view of morality – a distressingly common affliction among sports government bodies – Qatar is going to go through the ignominy of having the 2022 World Cup taken away.

Given that the international passion for sport, especially soccer, touches the hearts of billions of people who otherwise take very little interest in world affairs, losing the World Cup will be the blackest mark against Qatar’s name that it is possible to imagine.

There are, however, much better reasons to question the role Qatar … read more*

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Click here for Jonathan Manthorpe’s page, with all of his columns for F&O.

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