Bilanz: Katar und die FIFA WM 2022 – ein lohnenswerter Kauf
Four weeks of World Cup in Qatar come to an end. The host got what he wanted for a lot of money. The criticism is justified. A personal record.
The children’s festival, a show with traditionally dressed horses and a few other items on the program fall victim to the corona pandemic. But there will be a military parade along the kilometer-long beach promenade on Doha Bay, as will the big fireworks display. Qatar celebrates big on Sunday, December 18th is the national day when the emir will inspect the parade. It starts at 9 a.m. local time, nine hours later Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani should be sitting in the Lusail stadium and seeing two of his best players.
They don’t belong to him personally, and they don’t play for the Qatari national team, which failed without a single word in the preliminary round of the World Cup. But Argentina’s Lionel Messi and France’s Kylian Mbappé are two of the stars at Paris Saint-Germain, and the Emir of Qatar can already consider this club his property, even if officially a sovereign wealth fund of Qatar is behind the French series champions.
Qatar bought into PSG in 2011, a year after winning the World Cup, which is also believed to have cost a lot of bribes. A corruption scandal is currently rocking the European Parliament, and there are indications that Qatar’s banknotes are involved.
Beautiful pictures – Qatar’s plan is working
Despite everything, the small state on the Persian Gulf can celebrate that it is considered the winner of this World Cup in most of the world’s states, including the really big ones. The plan worked, the beautiful pictures of beautiful stadiums, enthusiastic fans, especially from Argentina and Morocco, made an impression. The friendliness of the people (whom nobody ever said were unfriendly), whether in the restaurants, hotels and supermarkets, remains as a memory.
Argentinian fans at the game against the Netherlands
It is said to have cost Qatar more than 200 billion euros to create the conditions for four perfect weeks. Previous hosts of a World Cup have paid less than ten percent of this.
Money is no object for the Emirate of Qatar, where residents, even those with non-Qatarian passports, do not pay taxes and medical care is free, as is electricity.
The metro is great, the trains come every two minutes. Even when thousands of football fans drive back from the games to their hotels and accommodations at night, the floor is still clean, the volunteers are still in a good mood, and the moving walks work smoothly.
“No incidents” have occurred in 62 games so far, Gianni Infantino said when he took stock on Friday (December 16, 2022) and answered uncomfortable questions that he only wanted to take stock after the final.
“We have to be precise,” said the FIFA President when asked how the different statements from the World Federation and the Organizing Committee on dead construction workers came about.
Infantino maintains that only three workers died during the construction of the stadiums, the number of deaths of up to 500 given by the OC applies to all construction sites in connection with the World Cup.
Rainbow t-shirts banned
To be precise, the “no incidents” applies to fans lighting bengalos, singing diatribes, or throwing chairs in a bar brawl. But there was a Kenyan security guard who died after falling at the stadium. There were people who wore T-shirts with the colors of the rainbow and were therefore prosecuted by the security forces. “Women. Life. Freedom” – read the T-shirts of people who protested for brave women in Iran and against the murderous regime. Some of them were also harassed by the police.
That was criticized, just like in the run-up, especially in Germany, Qatar’s handling of guest workers, for whom money does play a role. Who are in Qatar just for the money to feed their families in Nepal, Bangladesh and India. It was criticized that Qatar – like many other countries in the region – regards homosexual acts as a criminal offence, that freedom of expression is restricted and that the media is under control. There was exaggerated criticism that even slipped into racism and Islamophobia. But standing up for respect for human rights has nothing to do with imposed morals.
What remains after the World Cup?
Abuses are abuses, in Qatar as in Germany, and with a view to the EM 2024, it will be closely examined how workers in the asparagus fields are paid and accommodated, whether refugees are welcome, whether refugee homes are set on fire. There will be legitimate criticism. Compensating for grievances would be a grave mistake.
The view and the review of the World Cup in Qatar should be precise. The country’s elite bought what they wanted and got what they wanted.
Whether the guest workers, the women, the queers will get what they deserve in the future is a question that can only be answered long after the finale.
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