It is a few days before the World Cup in Qatar starts and the apathy is overwhelming, just as people have been saying since they ‘won’ it (by stuffing as much money as possible into Sepp Blatter’s pockets) in 2010. Putting aside the human rights issues (of which there are many) having the World Cup in the run-up to Christmas, in the middle of most country’s seasons in a desert where fans can’t have a drink or legally be gay or lesbian is fucking insane. Part of what makes a World Cup are the fans from different countries mingling together in towns and cities across the host nation/s. This clearly isn’t going to happen this time.
I went to France in 1998 in the vain hope of getting tickets for one of the Scotland games. Of course I failed in getting a ticket instead getting fantastically drunk with a load of fans from Brazil, Netherlands, France, Italy, Denmark, and just all over the world. In four years’ time I’d dearly love to go to Mexico to experience a game, any game, in a nation that adores the game as much as Mexico. Qatar though? Nah. Fuck it.
At least four years ago in Russia we knew it was corrupt but at least Russia had a footballing heritage but now we’re in a country where the stadiums are built on the blood and bones of immigrant workers bordering on slaves. I can’t work up the joy of the game watching Gary Lineker and Gary Neville commentating on a game where players struggle in the heat and fans are policies heavily by an authoritarian government.
Of course it’d be silly to say I’m that pure I won’t watch games as I’m not that much of a hypocrite to say I won’t. I will but every World Cup since 1978 I’ve spent the first day glued to the telly be it at home or down the pub watching all the first day’s games but I have no intention this time. There’s normally a month build up but this time? Not an awful lot.I think people know this year’s competition is a sad joke being held in a country which is going to make it as hard for fans as possible so to hell with Qatar.
I’ll see you all in four years for the North American World Cup.