Anorak | World Cup 2022: welcome aboard the Guardian-endorsed Harrods-sponsored slave ship

World Cup 2022: welcome aboard the Guardian-endorsed Harrods-sponsored slave ship

by | 26th, May 2015

xavi al sadd

No sooner had Xavi Hernández announced his departure from Barcelona for a new dawn with Qatari side Al Sadd, than he was attacked.

Xavi, 35, will work as an ambassador for the 2022 World Cup being staged in merciless desert heat.

Given the contentious nature of how Qatar won the right to stage the World Cup and the plight of migrant workers building the massive white elephants – the International Trade Union Confederation’s Play Fair Qatar says “more than 62 workers will die for each game played during the 2022 tournament” – Xavi’s choice has been  considered despicable by some: 

Xavi slaves
Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 13.04.19


Such condemnation for Xavi would carry an ounce of weight were it not for the fact that Barcelona are sponsored by Qatari Airways. Have you seen any of the protests lamenting Barcelona’s links to Qatar, wondering how many labourers have died to give the Catalans success?

It’s far easier to attack the individual that it is to bash the institution.

Do you boycott London’s The Shard, Harrods or any other businesses owned wholly or in part by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, like Barclays, Volkswagen, Sainsbury’s and Porsche?

And football is an easy thing to pile in on and use to prove your own sound morals. Writing in the Guardian , Marina Hyde focuses on football’s role in Qatar’s deadly economy:

“For what little it’s worth, I am in favour of sporting boycotts only in extremis, and never envy those administrators charged with making such incredibly difficult decisions.

“But if 62 poverty-stricken deaths per game in the richest country in the world doesn’t count as extremis, then our own FA will eventually have to tell us what does.”

Why are sportsmen and especially footballers held to a higher stand than, say, the Guardian , a newspaper that brings readers the merits of working at Harrods:



guardian qatar


That’s the Guardian  whose writer returned from a press junket to Qatar to write in 2010:

Why the heat is on FIFA to give the 2022 World Cup to Qatar

Louise Taylor said the “technological wizardry” to keep everyone cool in the eye-melting heat is “already virtually foolproof but, to a scientific dunce, the really exciting thing about such innovation is its potential geopolitical and historical impact.”

“If the 40ºc June heat no longer presents an insurmountable barrier, a key excuse for failing to award the Middle East a World Cup is removed… An

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Posted: 26th, May 2015 | In: Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink