The members of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee must be watching the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup draw with great interest. Most importantly, this would have given them hope that come 2021 and they too would be hosting similar event for the World Cup draw. That nothing is going to stop them from hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Gary Lineker, ex-England player, himself a Golden Boot winner at the 1986 World Cup and TV Host of BBC’s Match of the Day for more than two decades hosts the 2018 World Cup draw. Lineker, in the past has been critical of FIFA, the organization fraught with corruption. When Lineker was criticized for his hypocrisy in agreeing to host the draw, he offered his reasons. He reasoned that all corrupt FIFA officials including ex-President Sepp Blatter are out or on their way out. According to Lineker, “If Blatter had still been in charge, I wouldn’t have done it but you have a lot of ex-footballers running the show now. They are making changes and it’s only fair to give them an opportunity.”
So ex-footballers in charge and few officials out and everything is on track in FIFA. How about all the allegations against the host nation? Amongst the many things doping, racism, human rights violation in construction of stadiums and other infrastructure surrounding the World Cup? Here an Inside the Games article by Liam Morgan highlights some of the issues that has plagued Russia, the host nation. But of course, if you ask Lineker none of this matters.
Qatar, the 2022 host nation too has faced lot of allegations starting from winning the bid by dodgy means. But just as Russia 2018 has shown when the time comes, none of those allegations matters. Because the focus is then solely on the event. Nobody really cares how the bid was won, how many people died building the infrastructure for a four-week event or that there was widespread doping to gain unfair advantage.
Sometime in October I had written this piece. Of course, nothing has changed. Not that I expected it.
And in the end, all that matters is that the World Cup is here. And we all should celebrate it. The show must go on. Tragic!