The antiWorld

“Football unites people and nations. There is a common thread of hope and respect. Soccer expands the world, unites nations in their love for this precious game. What makes nations come together, makes communities come together…”, the above are the words that Morgan Freeman pronounced during the opening ceremony of Qatar 2022. His presence was as unexpected as the words he expressed together with Ghanim Al Muftaha young influencer also known as The Miracle Child of Qatar, who was born with Caudal Regression Syndrome, a disease that caused him to be born without half of his body. The message, the image of them together in a moment that attracted the eyes of the world, the final scene, both almost touching each other with their fingers, went around the planet. A FIFA strategy to heal in health in the face of criticism for the conditions in which this World Cup tournament is held?

This sporting event, like no other, has been drenched in questions since it became known that Qatar would host it. It’s not free. In that country, a monarchy governs, they obey the Koran, women live under the guardianship of a man, they do not have power over their own children, they cannot work without authorization and, flatly, they do not attend certain places of recreation, it is prohibited, to mention something. Same-sex relationships are punishable by imprisonment. In addition, its labor policies allow the contract of migrants, but under conditions that each employer imposes.

Qatar, a country where there is a Moral Police, host of an event of this dimension? Well yes, and with everything and criticism, the World Cup has already started in this territory. The interesting thing now is to begin the review of the various lessons that it will leave us, to understand how far we can go from a necessary discussion.

In recent days, with the start of the World Cup, non-governmental organizations and public figures have recalled the situation that human rights occupy on the Qatari agenda, such as not granting women the right to decide, not to mention their body, but on the way you dress; the same for the LGBTQ+ community or the scandals of corruption and labor exploitation, to the extent that 15,000 workers died in works related to the World Cup, according to Amnesty Intentional. Controversies even arose through figures who for these reasons refused to participate in the main opening event and alternate shows. They did it Dua Lipa, Rod Stewart Y Shakira. the mexican group kabah He joined the group of artists who declined to participate in shows around the soccer tournament. In contrast, the Colombian Maluma He participated and defended his right to be part of an event with fans, despite an avalanche of criticism he received after leaving an interview with Israeli television, in which he was asked if he knew about the Qatari situation and if, furthermore, it mattered to him.

Just yesterday, FIFA announced sanctions against players who wear the so-called One Love bracelet, promoted by the Netherlands Soccer Federation, with which recognition of the LGBTQ+ community would be made. Finally, no one used it, the threat of punishment won.

Tourists in Qatar today must adhere to precise rules of behavior or face the consequences. There is not even permission to have a beer in or around the stadiums. The most controlled soccer World Cup in history.

“What unites us is greater than what divides us. We are a great tribe and the Earth is our store. Together we can make the call for all to unite. This is a call to the whole world…”, other words of Freeman during the inauguration ceremony of Qatar. What a lesson, perhaps involuntary, to which football forces us. For now, he has already put the issue of inclusion on the table.

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