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Blood on the pitch

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The decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar didn’t bother me in particular, for me, World Cups are a chance to watch great footballers playing for teams I don’t have a vested interest in.  That changed when reports of hundreds of deaths of foreign migrants, allowed in to build the infrastructure required to host the tournament.

The Indian embassy in Qatar report that the death rate of their nationals involved in construction projects in Qatar is reaching epidemic levels.  233 died in 2010, 239 in 2011, 237 in 2013 and 241 in 2013.  24 died in January this year, a total of 998 since the beginning of 2010.  This is a blight on humanity.

The Guardian revealed that 197 Nepalese died in 2012 and 185 died in 2013.  Many of the deaths are no characterised as classic construction accidents, the heat and environmental conditions, together with the lack of facilities for immigrants, mean many die of ‘natural’ causes, including heart failure, there are other nationals there too, also dying in alarming numbers.

Labour MP, Jim Murphy, last month said, “Some of the practices we know are taking place in Qatar amount to forced labour, and there are widespread concerns that the death toll could reach well into the thousands if nothing is done.”  The International Trade Union Confederation estimate (without needing to extrapolate greatly) up to 4,000 workers could die before the country is ready to host the tournament.

The prospect of a sea of blood on the pitch has not been enough to convince Fifa to call a halt to the slaughter, or at least use the threat of withdrawal to ensure migrants experience safe and humane living and working conditions.

As the tournament draws nearer, pressure groups will become better organised, but by that time, many more will have died.  As fans, or, in this instance, to adopt our more effective role as consumers of TV and companies who sponsor the tournament, we have a lot of work to do, and we need to start now.

Before Fifa act they will need a lot of encouragement from sponsors, unhappy at the prospect of their brands being associated with a death trade, and they will need approval from the lawyers.  Qatar ‘invested’ hugely in football as they were busy vacuuming up votes, including buying real estate on the front of Barcelona’s shirts, once regarded as an ethically responsible club.  The platform association with UNICEF looks like blatant opportunism.

Today’s Telegraph offers Fifa a chance to call a halt to the project.  They allege former Fifa vice president, Jack Warner and his family, were paid $2m just weeks after Qatar were awarded the tournament.  The Qatar authorities deny wrongdoing.

This is perhaps the most important article concerning the football industry in decades as it opens a door to stop the despair of thousands of workers living in abject poverty and mortal danger.  According to the Telegraph, law enforcement agencies are already active on this issue.  They need to quickly establish if the Qatar bid was assisted by criminal activity before the tournament can be withdrawn.  The danger is that irrespective of what law enforcement agencies uncover, or who ultimately goes to jail, there is so much illicit cash floating around Fifa that those in positions of power will protect their paymasters.

Before this happens, you, me, our clubs, and whoever cares from the various football associations, must organise and turn up the pressure on the criminals with their snouts in the Fifa trough.  If we pass up on this opportunity, we could wait decades for the next chance to rid the top of our game of criminals.

Seville – The Celtic Movement is available now:

“Of course we’d loved Blackburn, Stuttgart, Liverpool etc, but with twenty minutes to go in Oporto, I sat with my stomach recreating a range of football related sinking feelings from the past. You know, being told I was ‘rubbish’ by the high school team prima donna as another of his cannonball passes rocketed out for a shy under my foot, or the time I ran home from primary school to watch Celtic lose to…. someone…on a black and white television during the seventies. I’ve never wanted to find out who we lost to or what year it was. The memory is more intriguing left blurry like footage of the moon landings.”

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620 Comments

  1. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Would someone be so kind as to post Paul67’s contact email addy.

     

     

    Fanx

  2. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on

    Marspapa

     

     

    Sorry just on and saw your post. Maybe I was wrong but always thought she was slightly less aggressive towards Tims :-)

     

     

    Where in Hamilton are you?

  3. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Qatar

     

     

    A complete irrelevance.

     

    A bizarre symptom of an endemic footballing disease: corruption.

     

    The same corruption which saw the spending of billions of rand to provide stadia in South Africa,where a huge percentage of people have no running water or electricity.

     

    Let them eat stadia.

     

    Oz spent 23 million dollars on it`s bid for the Qatar tournament.They should have learned the rules before placing their bid.

     

    You got no chance,pal.

     

    The blazers are bent.

     

    A wee afterthought: Hampden.

  4. valentinesday on

    Bishop elect Fr John Keenan will be consecrated the 5th

     

    Bishop of Paisley at 7 pm in St Mirin’s Cathedral tomorrow

     

    night…..if you can make it, please do, be advised to arrive

     

    early………….I’m away to watch my fav Turkish team.

  5. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on

    valentinesday

     

     

    I worked with his brother, lovely man.

     

     

    Marspapa

     

     

    Ha ha nope, Woodhead.

  6. maestro-number8 on

    big cup winners, yes indeed.

     

     

    Do you have an email address I can mail you on ?

     

     

    HH

  7. Hamilton tim

     

     

    The next time your visiting BT at the KSC for a game give me a shout , i’ll pick you up , i met bt , sanna, wc , gordan 64 and brt+h at the last philmac paul mcc rip and our very own paul … They made me feel at ease

     

     

    Woodhead!!! Slumminitcsc.

     

     

    Oh i get it , saving up for the big move ;))

  8. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on

    Marspapa

     

     

    Ha ha something like that :-)

     

     

    That’s very kind of you I’ll keep that in mind.

  9. jinkyredstar cuts it back for Neil Lennon on

    Cadizzy

     

    Of course Melrose

     

     

    Still past tense of course- lets not get into Janey’s

  10. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    EN

     

     

    Hope you’re well …you were missed on Friday

     

     

    Neganon

     

     

    Nice to meet you on Friday ….such a cheerful chap despite your moniker…

  11. Blood on the pitch all sounds a bit familiar.

     

     

     

    Celtic is a member of a football organisation the SFA; that was quite happy to have its national side play a meaningless friendly in stadium where not too long previously, people had been herded into and shot.

     

     

    I don’t recall any objections from Celtic or its fans at the time.

  12. iPaddy McCourt Supports Wee Oscar on

    a ceiler gonof rust

     

     

    19:09 on 18 March, 2014

     

    Jackie Mac and Dufc being horribly abused on hun media in typical Nazi fashion.

     

     

    The best thing JM can do is rip the vile huns a new back valve at their own hovel.

     

     

    No huns at paradise. It’s down to you Jackie.

     

     

    ———————————————————-

     

     

    By Christ I hope United absolutely destroy them

  13. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    Isn’t it strange that in most Countries the build- up to a cup semi-final concentrates on the skills / football rivalry / merits of both teams……but not in Scotland……our build-up concentrates on generating hatred, and promoting bile ……… in this example, it is concentrating on unsettling Dundee United, and it will intensify until the day of the game….I hope the United players can cope with the ‘agenda’ …..

  14. a ceiler gonof rust

     

     

    19:09 on 18 March, 2014

     

    Jackie Mac and Dufc being horribly abused on hun media in typical Nazi fashion.

     

     

    The best thing JM can do is rip the vile huns a new back valve at their own hovel.

     

     

    No huns at paradise. It’s down to you Jackie.

     

     

    ———————————————————-

     

     

    By Christ I hope United absolutely destroy them

     

     

    I’m very sure that Jackie Mac and his team, know quite well how do deal with a zombie gathering.

  15. Jackie Mac was always a favourite of mine .

     

    Hope to God he doesn’t let me down !

     

    The forces of Tumdom are with him.

  16. macjay1 for Neil Lennon

     

    20:02 on

     

    18 March, 2014

     

    `78 World Cup fix.

     

     

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2098970/Argentina-cheated-World-Cup-1978-says-Peru-senator.html

     

     

    Jorge Rafael Videla president of the Argentine provided me with my outstanding memory of the 1978 World Cup final

     

     

    After the final whistle there was some delay before the presentation of the cup which was to be made to him.

     

     

    Obviously bored by the whole thing, and with better things to do, he could not resist a ‘where the feck are they glance down at his watch’.

  17. The abuse being heaped on Dundee United more than justifies my post of a few weeks ago

     

    that Celtic’s exit to Aberdeen could have had far reaching effects.

  18. Can I Have Raspberry On That Champions League Ice Cream

     

    20:17 on

     

    18 March, 2014

     

    a ceiler gonof rust

     

     

    19:09 on 18 March, 2014

     

    Jackie Mac and Dufc being horribly abused on hun media in typical Nazi fashion.

     

     

    The best thing JM can do is rip the vile huns a new back valve at their own hovel.

     

     

    No huns at paradise. It’s down to you Jackie.

     

     

    It is up to Jackie’s side to ensure that shortly after half time there will not be too many Huns left in Ibrox.

  19. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    If DU can’t beat sevco in a SC semi final they should pack it in

     

     

    Sevco are dross

  20. From MainBartin

     

     

    Liars @ScottishFA . And not for the first time.

     

     

    #OgilvieOut

     

     

    http://t.co/uayvX3zpQ4

     

     

    @ScottishFA @dundeeunitedfc “You would hope they could have tried to maintain the ­concept of neutrality.”

     

     

    Stephen Thompson, last October

     

     

     

     

    SFA defends early decision on Scottish Cup venues

     

    Published: 31 October 2013

     

     

     

    Celtic Park will host the 2013-14 Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNS

     

    79 comments

     

    By GAVIN MCCAFFERTY

     

    The Scottish Football Association has defended its decision to name Celtic Park and Ibrox as the venues for the latter stages of the William Hill Scottish Cup by insisting that clubs wanted to know the stadia in advance.

     

     

     

    With Hampden closed as an athletics track is laid for the Commonwealth Games, the SFA board decided that Rangers will host both semi-finals on 12 and 13 April, while the final will be played at Parkhead on 17 May.

     

     

    When Hampden was being rebuilt in the late 1990s, decisions on final venues were taken on an ad-hoc basis in a bid to avoid teams being handed home advantage.

     

     

    The SFA is now contractually obliged to host semi-finals at Hampden but it could have temporarily reverted to the previous norm of delaying decisions on last-four venues until after the quarter-finals to avoid a situation where Ibrox could be less than half-full for a clash involving two smaller teams.

     

     

    But the SFA claims clubs want advance knowledge and dismissed suggestions that games could be played at Murrayfield, while insisting any venue would need to be able to accommodate at least 25,000.

     

     

    In a series of tweets, the SFA said: “It is important for fixture planning schedules to announce the venues as early as possible.

     

     

    “Ave s/f [average semi-final] attendances are 25k+ so only two football stadia can accommodate those numbers.

     

     

    “Member clubs (we are a members’ organisation) preferred to know in advance where s/f and finals would be held. Stadium rental, insurance, stewarding etc all require planning well before finals and semi-finals. More cost-effective to ­arrange in advance.”

     

     

    Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson expressed surprise at the decision having been made so early, however. “I can understand why Celtic Park has been chosen, it is the biggest stadium in Scotland,” Thompson told The Scotsman. “But if Celtic get to the final it will be a huge advantage to them, and the same stands for Rangers at Ibrox if they get to the semi-final.

     

     

    “I am just surprised at why the decision has to be made so much in advance. Major games are played at stadiums with just ten days’ notice. There is no ­reason why this has to happen. I understand why there has to be an alternative venue because Hampden Park is unavailable. But you would hope they could have tried to maintain the ­concept of neutrality.”

     

     

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    Comments (79)

     

    31/10/2013 1:08 PM GST

     

    Rate: (2 | 1)

     

    Chip Stencil

     

    Just as Rangers gained no sporting advantage fielding a tax-free team, Celtic will gain no advantage playing a cup final at home. Absolutely, completely and utterly farcical.

     

     

    31/10/2013 11:15 AM GST

     

    Rate: (4 | 3)

     

    paulg

     

    Blue sea of ibrox, your other lunatic friends already tried the financial fair play stunt with FIFA and got a nice letter back saying that the complaint was time barred. The £34m debt has similarly been debunked. Perhaps if you and your ilk had put a fraction of the effort you spend trying to find issue with Celtic into saving your old club, they wouldn’t have been killed off by liquidation.

     

    meanwhile, in the champions league…….

     

     

    1Reply

     

    31/10/2013 9:28 AM GST

     

    Rate: (8 | 2)

     

    Cramondo

     

    This is just nonsense. For decades, they have been able to arrange for matches at “neutral” venues AT THE TIME THE DRAW IS MADE.

     

     

    The only tie that would cause a problem would be Rangers v Celtic, and they could easily toss a coin to choose if that came up.

     

     

    But this is how the Old Firm scratch each other’s backs. Rangers guaranteed TWO semi-finals and Celtic, odds-on favourites to reach the Final, get to play the final at home.

     

     

    Who am I? Just an ordinary person who spends hundreds of pounds a year on Scottish football.

     

     

    Are we just going to accept this?

     

     

    Dear SFA,

     

     

    I, and thousands like me, pay your wages.

     

     

    This is a disgrace.

     

     

    31/10/2013 8:18 AM GST

     

    Rate: (8 | 1)

     

    piker20

     

    alex was right….west coast bias. Murrayfield would have been neutral to ALL sides.

     

     

    31/10/2013 5:43 AM GST

     

    Rate: (7 | 5)

     

    Manfaefife

     

    That’s an awful decision, we(Raith Rovers) were denied a Hampden final in 1994 because Celtic our opponents were using it as their home ground, at the time Parkhead was being done up. So now theyre changing the rules to suit the 2 bigoted Scottish clubs who will both stand to gain financially and possibly gain home advantage !! So much for it being the Scottish PFA, more like the Glasgow PFA, logic out the window.

     

     

    1Reply

     

    30/10/2013 11:50 PM GST

     

    Rate: (6 | 5)

     

    piker20

     

    hope we get to semis and draw Dundee utd….nice wee boycott, nae money to that lot…., sure the jutes feel the same.

     

     

    30/10/2013 11:45 PM GST

     

    Rate: (17 | 2)

     

    piker20

     

    so lets see…a possible .scenario ICT to play ross county in the semi……and fans have to go WHERE? Joke decision.

     

     

    This comment was left by a user who has been blocked by our staff.

     

    30/10/2013 11:24 PM GST

     

    Rate: (9 | 10)

     

    Payback

     

    Strange how Scotland’s two most shamed and reviled teams (Hertz & zevco) manage to progress in their respective diddy cups…Zevco’s is particularly humiliating – no doubt the Ibrox hordes will disgrace themselves even more so than usual by re-acting their Manchester carnage antics in the most predictable and vile manner possible.

     

     

    1Reply

     

    30/10/2013 11:03 PM GST

     

    Rate: (4 | 8)

     

    TopGunn

     

    gee whit a slap in the face that is tae Celtic, the SFA assuming they wouldnt make the final of the Scottish Cup, suppose they will get knockeed oot in the semis, they never win at Ibrox lol

     

     

    This comment was left by a user who has been blocked by our staff.

     

    This comment was left by a user who has been blocked by our staff.

     

    30/10/2013 10:41 PM GST

     

    Rate: (16 | 2)

     

    Teeeffsee

     

    the mistake was made years ago. They should have sold the land at hampden and murrayfield and build a proper stadium for rugby and football in Stirling near Bannockburn. Historically interest and on good train/bus links from Glasgow and edinburgh. 40miles max. Not to bad for perth and dundee too.

     

     

    This comment was left by a user who has been blocked by our staff.

     

    30/10/2013 9:29 PM GST

     

    Rate: (19 | 11)

     

    Ethan Allen Hawley

     

    Brother Ogilvie and sfa launch last gasp effort to prop up the rangers international by bunging them to hold a couple of semi finals.

     

     

    You couldn’t make it up.

  21. eddieinkirkmichael on

    41,000 average attendance at Chelsea in PL.

     

     

    Did anyone notice all those emtey seats in the top tier there when Drogba scafted that shot a few mins ago? At least 8 full rows not occupied and it looked deliberate policy of club so cameras only show what looks like a full stadia

  22. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    quonno

     

    20:20 on

     

    18 March, 2014

     

     

    Hee hee hee

     

     

    The wee band I was in used to close our set with

     

    Que sera sera,whatever willl be ,will be

     

    We`re going to Agentine………..

     

    Guaranteed to get us roared off the stage.

     

     

    The other controversy was the absence of Cruyff. Many years later he admitted that he and his family had received death threats.

  23. macjay1 for Neil Lennon

     

    20:30 on

     

    18 March, 2014

     

    quonno

     

    20:20 on

     

    18 March, 2014

     

     

    Hee hee hee

     

     

    The wee band I was in used to close our set with

     

    Que sera sera,whatever willl be ,will be

     

    We`re going to Agentine………..

     

    Guaranteed to get us roared off the stage.

     

     

    The other controversy was the absence of Cruyff. Many years later he admitted that he and his family had received death threats.

     

     

    Although I don’t doubt it, I had never heard of Cruyff death threats.

  24. Celtic v Hibs. Scottish cup final. Full house. Little, if any, protest about SFA.

     

     

    Most Celtic supporters sadly couldn’t care less about the SFA’s ineptitude.