Do South American World Cup qualifiers put the Champions League to shame?

September 6, 2016

“Now that Copa América and the Euros are behind us, the focus turns to World Cup qualification. For South American teams – who kicked off their campaigns last October – the road to the biggest football tournament in the world has always been tough and since 1996, when the current round-robin format was originally introduced, competition has improved tremendously. Historical powerhouses such as Brazil and Argentina are no longer shoe-ins to qualify as teams such as Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Paraguay and Ecuador, with star players of their own, are more than just also-rans.” Guardian

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Labor City, Qatar’s creepy new city for migrant workers, is open for business

November 8, 2015

“Do you want to build 2022 World Cup infrastructure in steaming hot Qatar? If so, you may want to look into accommodations in Labor City, the Gulf state’s newest city built specifically for migrant laborers moving to Qatar to work on long-term construction projects. As of November 1, Labor City is open for business. Before continuing, please take a moment to appreciate that Qatar, a country with a scandalous labor record, named an actual city ‘Labor City.’” Fusion (Video)


Sounds silly but Qatar keeping the 2022 World Cup might be the least fucked solution

June 27, 2015

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the largest inter-governmental organization in the world after the United Nations, describes itself as the ‘collective voice of the Muslim world.’ With 57 member states on four continents, the OIC seeks to ‘safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.’ It’s a noble-sounding endeavor, tone-wise, and in line with the mission statements of almost every other notable inter-governmental organization designed, in theory, to foster global harmony, understanding, and puppy GIF feelings.” Fusion


The good thing about the Qatar 2022 date change

March 31, 2015

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“When cities put forward a bid to stage the Olympics, the date of the Games is an explicit part of the proposal. IOC members know what they are voting for. This, of course, was not the case in the race to stage the 2022 World Cup. An inspection group carried out a detailed study into the bids, and put the information at the disposal of FIFA’s Executive Committee – which proceeded to take little notice. They chose Qatar with barely a thought for the logistical problems and world football has been in a bind ever since. It would seem that some sort of compromise is being worked out. A conventional June/July World Cup presented the obvious problem of extreme heat, and so the tournament is set to be staged in November and December.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


FIFA May Regret a Qatar World Cup After All

March 27, 2015

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When Qatar launched its bid to host the World Cup, an evaluation report expressed concerns about the health and safety of players and spectators in the heat.
“Since 1930, every World Cup has been played during the months of June and July, with the occasional match as early as May. Last week, FIFA confirmed that the 2022 tournament, in Qatar, will be held during the winter, with the final scheduled for December 18th. When Qatar launched its bid to host the World Cup, in 2009, an evaluation report expressed concerns about the health and safety of players and spectators in the heat—daytime temperatures reach over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Despite the warnings, in December 2010 the FIFA executive committee selected the country as its World Cup host. Allegations about vote-buying and bribery (not to mention human-rights abuses) have plagued FIFA and Qatar ever since.” New Yorker


Qatar Hero

December 17, 2014

“… This friend will remain anonymous, for two reasons: firstly, while he won’t mind my re-telling the tale in question he would probably prefer not to see his own name in print; secondly, his name wouldn’t mean much to most readers anyway. This friend could adopt Descartes’s larvatus prodeo [masked, I proceed] as his motto, as the path he’s followed in football, which took him to very high places indeed, remains largely uncharted. He wouldn’t have it any other way.” Blizzard


Whistle-blower who took on FIFA power brokers

November 26, 2014

“One of the questions I’ve been asked the most in the 10 days since judge Hans-Joachim Eckert’s summary was published of Michael Garcia’s report into the conduct of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, is the extent to which I’m upset with the comments about me as the ‘Australian whistleblower.’ The answer is: not that much — and there are two reasons.” CNN