While UEFA Euro 2021 may be right around the corner, the current international break is all about the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Due to the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers have had to speed up the process of getting teams qualified for next winter’s global spectacle – and yes, we said winter, which feels frightening and weird all at the same time.
There are many nations currently engaged in qualifiers, some of which you can bet on through the betting page, with the hope being that they will be able to fly over to Qatar and take part in this festival of football in 2022. The only problem is that everything about this World Cup feels crooked and wrong, and no, that’s not an exaggeration.
From how it was first awarded to the thousands of migrant workers who are said to have died during the construction of the stadiums, it all just feels a bit wrong – actually, it feels very wrong.
We were all led to believe that the amazing grounds and the intrigue of heading somewhere new for a World Cup would be the real sorry here. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all, and the fact that it’s going to be a winter World Cup just exemplifies why everyone is so baffled and bemused by the whole situation.
Every single country that is attempting to qualify will put their blood, sweat and tears into making it a reality and there’s a lot of admiration to be had for those nations. Still, when you look at the Norwegian national team and the stand they’re taking to oppose Qatar and their practices, it does make you wonder whether or not more significant countries need to be doing the same thing.
That isn’t us trying to downplay the impact of what Norway are doing, either. Instead, we’re trying to shine a light on it and prove that this is an issue which needs to be taken very seriously.
The ideal situation would be for a full enquiry to be launched into this whole thing with the end result, in an independent setting, probably being that Qatar are stripped of their hosting rights with hundreds being thrown in jail for the part they played.
Alas, FIFA isn’t going to go anywhere near something like that, probably because the problem is so deeply embedded within their own organisation.
The Euros this summer could end up being controversial in their own right with nobody really knowing what kind of impact COVID-19 is going to have, even in the midst of the ongoing vaccine rollout. Still, the event being across Europe feels like a nice gimmick to use as we continue to battle through the pandemic.
On the flip side we have plenty of time to get our heads around the idea of Qatar hosting the World Cup in 2022, so maybe our feelings will change.
Except no, they won’t, because there are crimes being committed every single day and people need to be held accountable.