Friday, 6 June 2014
CORRUPTION & AK-47s: FIFA MUST RIGHT ITS WRONGS
The last two World Cups are the only ones that I can realistically remember.
In 2002, I was only 6, my memory limited. For some reason though, I can still remember a fresh faced Brazilian kid lobbing David Seaman. That’s another matter, however.
The Adidas Teamgeist ball is my fondest memory of 2006 and my first real World Cup memory. The ball that only had 14 panels – for a 10-year-old it was captivating, it’s just a pity I couldn’t play with it!
The South African tournament will be remembered due to those Vuvuzela’s, or “Bloody Vuvuzela’s” as they were known to the majority of the public. The nauseating noise was loathed by all, but it spawned an atmosphere that will never be forgotten.
These proverbial heirlooms of the World Cup ancestry were well documented in the build-up of each tournament, so do we really want to be remembering AK-47s in the approach to Russia 2018?
Brazilian authorities have announced that there will be 157,000 police and soldiers providing security at the event – a quick Google search of “Brazilian Police” shows that the general consensus of Brazilian uniform isn’t exactly reassuring.
Officers attired in black bulletproof suits, with automatic rifles as an accessory; the epitome of safety!
Just days away from the opening ceremony of the first Brazilian World Cup since 1950, and there’s a larger sense of anxiety rather than excitement. The nation's Government, led by Dilma Rousseff, is under-fire for blowing $11 Billion on the tournament - $62 Million per game despite a near 20% poverty rate.
We’re looking at a World Cup which will be hindered by an indisputable sense of injustice. Murals being painted all over the country's Favela’s convey just how the nation’s backbone views the hosting of the tournament: it’s a nuisance, unnecessary and downright stupid.
There is no going back now though, so surely FIFA can learn from its mistakes? Surely the ruling body of the most popular sport on the planet can see the pain it is causing? Surely then, Qatar must be scrapped?
Russia’s turn, however, comes before Qatar and the 2018 event is in doubt also, with England being viewed as the potential back-up should the Russian attempt fail.
FIFA can set a precedent now. Revelations last week show that the Qatari World Cup was indeed “bought,” so surely FIFA can right a wrong?
In 2026, countries from the Americas can host again – do we want to be going into it with a legacy of corrupt money having been the foundations of our last World Cup?
The youth of today need to know the World Cup for its animation: the wonder-goals, the overly scientific footballs, the cultures of countries, not the negativities which look set to swamp the 21st century incarnations.
Qatar didn’t even bend over backwards to host the World Cup, they entered their pin number. Now it is up to FIFA to reverse this monstrous transaction.