Most people were horrified when FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have over the years documented the dire human rights situation within the country. The stadiums for the World Cup have been built on the back of slave labor. Many workers have died, others have been left stranded in the country without money, searching for food in dumpsters.
During the current Athletic World Championships the media has shown little interest in those facts. Quite the opposite, it seems like the cooling fans of the stadium in Doha were far more interesting than human pain and misery.
Jürgen Klinsmann speaks up in favor of Qatar
Besides the media, there are now former German internationals and coaches who are now starting to speak warmly about the upcoming World Cup in the dessert. Jürgen Klinsmann was interviewed after a friendly match between sides featuring footballing legends from Italy and Germany. The former German international and national team coach said:
“I think that the upcoming world cup is likely to be world class. I really can’t wait. I think it is going to be a wonderful experience.”
Klinsmann then went on stating that there were several concerns ahead of the World Cup in Russia, but that the tournament turned out to be “phenomenal”. Furthermore, the former Bayern and Tottenham striker thinks that the dessert state is going to aim high when hosting the next World Cup:
“One does have to give the country the chance to present itself. And who knows, maybe this is going to be the best World Cup of all times. I think the people have earned it.”
To earn something might be a word worth scrutinizing in that regard. As of now there are still several workers in Qatar who haven’t been paid their wages in full. One wonders if Jürgen Klinsmann would have been willing to go onto a football pitch if he hadn’t been paid his wages in full. The striker was a notoriously tough negotiator, and made sure that his contracts saw him earn a decent slump of money.
Berti Vogts shows concerns
The former German international and coach says that he wasn’t too enthused about the World Cup taking place in Qatar. However, the concerns he put forward weren’t the ones you would have expected. Vogts said he wanted more than one state in the region to host the World Cup:
“I would have expected that FIFA managed to do that. There are fantastic stadiums, fantastic hotels and fantastic businesses in the Emirates. I would have liked it much better if one would have used that region for a World Cup.”
The fact that human rights don’t seem to be overly important to Berti Vogts has been well known since the 1978 World Cup. Back then the then German international said:”Argentina is a orderly country. I haven’t seen one single political prisoner here.”
The military junta reigning in Argentine at that time was one of the worst dictatorships the world had to offer back in 1978. But, who cares about human rights anyways. All that matters is the World Cup, right?
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