bookmark_borderCeterum censeo FIFAm esse delendam

Sunset, Qatar
Originally uploaded by Shenghung Lin

I’m not really interested in football, but FIFA’s decision to place their World Cup 2022 in Qatar is outrageous. (I’m sure there were good reasons why Russia should not have got the World Cup in 2018 ahead of the competition, but at least the country is big and rich enough – and mad enough about football – to make it a feasible host.)

Qatar, on the other hand, is a ludicrous choice. The country is tiny, it needs to build 75% of the stadiums needed, it has no strong football culture, it’s far too hot during summer, and alcohol consumption is illegal in most places (details here).

To make it even more absurd, the results for the first round of voting were as follows: Australia 1 vote, Japan 3 votes, Korea 4 votes, Qatar 11 votes, USA 3 votes.

There’s no way those votes were based on facts and logic. Perhaps it was bribery, perhaps it had something to do with FIFA itself: “Unless you consider something very basic about how FIFA operates – it values independence and privacy over everything else, and no other bidding nations would provide them with a carte blanche as Russia and Qatar – the two countries with the most to gain in political capital (and therefore the most to give out to FIFA as well) from hosting the World Cup.”

It’s a scandal, and I suggest that the best solution is for as many national football associations as possible to leave FIFA and form a new international organisation.