The sportswashing is over, the mask has slipped, Qatar is no longer pretending, and FIFA’s assurances count for nothing. An interview with the Qatari World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman on German TV was suddenly cut short after the former footballer described homosexuality as ‘damage in the mind’.
“They have to accept our rules here.
“[Homosexuality] is haram (forbidden). You know what haram means?”
The interviewer asked why homosexuality was haram?
“I am not a strict Muslim, but why is it haram? Because it is damage in the mind.”
FIFA awarded the World Cup to Qatar in 2010 through a corrupt process that saw the nation make substantial investments in countries whose representatives voted for it to host one of the world’s greatest sporting events.
The tiny desert nation of Qatar occupies a smaller land space than the city of Brisbane. A hereditary monarch rules the emirate with all but absolute power.
Qatar criminalises LGBTIQA+ people. Women cannot marry, travel or study abroad without permission from their male relatives. Migrant workers, who make up most of the small nation’s workforce, suffer under conditions described as modern slavery. An estimated 6500 of them died during the building of infrastructure for the World Cup. In 2014, two Nepalese workers died a day in the quest to give an egregious human rights abuser a shiny new image.
The extreme heat makes playing soccer in Qatar during summer a potential health risk, yet it will host the world’s biggest soccer event.
Even corrupt long-term FIFA president Sepp Blatter now describes awarding the World Cup to Qatar as a mistake.
But FIFA continues to defend the decision saying everything will get better for migrant workers, Qatari women and LGBTIQA+ residents because of the sporting spectacle.
How did that theory work out after the 2008 Beijing Olympics or the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia?
Are China and Russia now human rights paradises?
The jury is now in. Even the dude paid to spin Qatar as an earthly sporting paradise admits the regime that rules the desert hellhole regards homosexuality as ‘damage in the mind. All of the assurances that the World Cup would lead to progress are bullshit. The only thing that will progress is the emir’s bank account.
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