Don’t want to divert attention from the imminent coronation at Celtic Park but a bit of respect is due to the (old media) Sunday Times for their opus yesterday on the corruption at Fifa surrounding the World Cup 2022 bids. Work like this can only be undertaken by a well-resourced publication, which remains the exclusive domain of the major newspapers and broadcasters.
Qatar 2022 has been subject to considerable concern over the human rights of immigrant workers for some time, with Nepal in particular expressing concern at the mortality rates of their nationals working in the Gulf state. Our own Jim Murphy MP has written extensively on the subject, before and after his visit to Qatar two months ago.
Hosting the World Cup has the potential to add a spotlight on human rights issues and in recent weeks the Qatari government have introduced limited reforms to controversial kafala sponsorship system, which bonds workers to their employers.
Football authorities in Europe and beyond are distraught at the prospect of being asked to change their leagues, and the Champions League, to allow the World Cup to take place in January and February, to avoid hosting the tournament during the Qatar summer.
Human rights concerns and football schedules were always unlikely to effect change with billions of pounds of investment already spent, but corruption is different. If the bidding process was subject to votes for Qatar being bought Fifa lawyers should have sufficient evidence to void the original vote and declare a re-run.
Football us sufficiently corrupt that no one has any confidence that Fifa will act properly. The entire structure has been subject to corruption for decades and, unfortunately, many of those who will decide on what action to take, and liable to be implicated in the years of graft.
I’m of the view that the decision to host the World Cup in Qatar, honestly decided or otherwise, could have brought reform to the country, but standing firm against corruption will do the greater good.
Let me know if you would like to attend the CQN Question and Answer evening at the Manor Club, Wimbledon, on 21 June, with a confirmed line-up of Lisbon Lion, John Hughes, and our own Brogan Rogan and Auldheid, email@example.com
Visit the CQN Bookstore to get Tommy Gemmell to sign your personal copy of his tome, All the Best.[calameo code=000390171873c910154bd lang=en page=106 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]