Qatar Wasn’t So Bad! | lockthelocks


The worst World Cup in history has finished and you know what, despite what we may have thought about it being hosted in the winter, despite what we thought about the cultural clash, despite the corruption and abhorrent human rights records the football itself was spectacular!

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sold on the idea of a World Cup in Qatar and certainly am not privileged enough to be able to afford to visit the city state. The class barrier combined with the last minute alcohol ban helped removed the freedom of choice for a lot of fans but had the positive impact (That meddling in the every day affairs of citizens will have) of being the first tournament that England fans didn’t find themselves arrested. Somehow this is being branded about as being a positive in terms of fan behaviour but perhaps it is more reflective of police behaviour?

Personally I do feel that there was some unfair criticism aimed at Qatar before the World Cup, it’s a country that is perhaps further behind us as a country on the path to progression. It wasn’t that long ago that Britain relied on migrant labour with little concern for the welfare of those being used, it wasn’t too long ago that falling in love with someone of the same sex was criminalized in Britain, it wasn’t too long ago that the fictitious overlords that society calls “gods” were the main influence on British morality too so overall can we judge one without reflecting on our own past failures? The influx of Western culture could well have a positive impact on this area of the world, the understanding of this Arab culture could also have a positive effect on the Western fans who perhaps went in with a stereotype in their minds that has since been disproven.

The football on display was admittedly exceptional at times. Some of the games were so surprising and exciting, even with inept referees making a constant appearance throughout. We got to see Morocco progress to the Semi Finals becoming the first African Nation to do so and we got billed a fantastic final as we saw two of Qatar Sports Investments players make it to the final, showcasing Qatar as perhaps a real footballing nation (And it was all just coincidence we swear!).

There was a fear that there may be some police brutality before the tournament, that fans with a hint of alcohol on their breath or a bit of skin on show may have found themselves on the wrong end of the law but in fact we saw fans welcomed into the homes of Qatari’s and at no point was Miss Croatia locked up following her constant flaunting of her body (I mean we even got to see a couple of Arabs so disgusted and shocked they took snaps of her with huge smiles on their faces) so perhaps these fears were unfounded. Social Media even showed us the abandoned worker villages which actually didn’t seem quite as bad as we were told, unless there were about six to a room anyway.

Having touched on the final I think it would be remiss not to focus on it a bit more. It was probably the most thrilling final ever at a World Cup, even from a neutral perspective, even if you were stubbornly against both sides perhaps still holding a grudge for the Hand of God and definitely still fuming about the French. England finished mediocrely but there’s always the Euros in two years.

All in all a successful World Cup, albeit one a bit too reflective of modern society (It doesn’t matter who you are, as long as you have cash you can do what you want). The issues clouded it but the football redeemed it!

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