5 rules to watch the Qatar 2022 World Cup complex

5 rules to watch the Qatar 2022 World Cup complex (Analysis)

(CNN)– The 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar has already begun… immersed in controversy. And there are several reasons to miss the celebration of soccer this year.

Qatar 2022 World Cup logo. (Photo: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

For example, the stadiums erected for the occasion in the host country were built on the backs of workers from Asia and Africa.

The conditions these migrant workers endured have been controversial, from the intense heat they endured during the construction of the World Cup infrastructure in Qatar to the possibility that many of them may have died. World Cup organizers vehemently refute expert estimates that thousands of people died.

Human rights, gay rights and corruption

There is also the issue of LGBTQ rights. FIFA threatened to penalize team captains who planned to wear armbands to promote inclusion and oppose discrimination, one of several last-minute changes soccer’s international governing body and Qatar introduced to the tournament. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, although the country’s Supreme Committee on Delivery and Legacy told CNN the tournament would be inclusive.

If you take Qatar’s word for inclusion, imagine paying for match tickets, travel and accommodation for a World Cup in the desert only to find out just days before the event that the stadiums won’t be selling beer. after all. That is clearly an offside.

A new documentary, “FIFA Uncovered”––which does not portray soccer’s governing body in a very flattering light given the recent history of wrongdoing within the organization––is due to air just in time for the World Cup. The accusations against FIFA are not new, the US government made them years ago, but they are worth considering again.

You have to be attentive to the signs of protest. The Iranian players appeared to show their solidarity with those protesting against the regime in their country. The footballers remained silent as the Iranian national anthem was played around the Khalifa International Stadium before the start of the match against England on Monday.

With access for journalists in Qatar limited, some teams may take on the role of protesting against the tournament, such as with Denmark’s jerseys, designed to honor stadium workers.

The argument for watching it anyway

French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters during a recent international summit that questions about Qatar should have been raised years ago, during the bid process. He said the event itself provides an avenue of opening and has value.

“The vocation of these great events is to allow athletes from all countries, even sometimes from countries at war, to allow sport to exist and sometimes find, through sport, ways to discuss when people can no longer speak” , said.

The Qatari version

Qatar’s ambassador to the United States, Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, says the tournament will help change misconceptions about his country, which he says has worked with a United Nations organization to improve working conditions. .

“Qatar is not opposed to the vote,” he wrote in a CNN op-ed in response to Bennett and Vietor’s comment. “Indeed, we have accepted it, but too often the platforms have been used to make one-sided and inaccurate arguments that go beyond what some other major event award-winning countries have faced, despite each having their own set of of challenges to overcome”.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino also defended the tournament in an explosive hour-long tirade before reporters. He has hit back at Western criticism of human rights.

“What we Europeans have done for the last 3,000 years, we should apologize for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons,” he said.

The rules to watch the World Cup

Assuming you see it, here are the informal rules I’ve developed, with the help of fellow fans, for my own World Cup enjoyment.

And by the way, these rules often contradict each other, so you have to weigh the importance of one over the other. It depends on you. Or make up your own rules.

1. Support a former colony

This means rooting for the USA over England when both countries play in the group stage. Backing conquered Wales over England, even though Wales isn’t exactly a colony and England is the heavy favourite.

Support Brazil over Portugal, or Argentina over Spain. There is something satisfying, at least for this American, about the idea of ​​the New World conquering the Old World, or an African team defeating France or Belgium.

Asterisks to the rule of colonies: when I mentioned this rule to a friend, he pointed out that the United States, although it grew out of former British colonies, has occupied territories in the Atlantic and Pacific, so it’s not always an easy rule to apply.

Another complication of the colony rule is the large number of immigrants on many teams. Much of the French team that won in 2018, for example, was born outside of France, and most of the players had some roots in Africa, including young star Kylian Mbappé. Here’s an interesting report from the Migration Policy Institute on the rise of immigrant players on World Cup teams.

2. Support a free country over an unfree one

There is a scale of freedom in the world, according to Freedom House, the independent watchdog that receives funding from the US government.

Qatar, for example, scores a paltry 25 on Freedom House’s 0-100 scale, which combines access to political rights and civil liberties. But it is not the lowest-scoring country participating in the World Cup: Saudi Arabia has a score of 7 and Iran a 14.

Nor is it the United States, with 83, the freest. Canada gets a 98, and Uruguay and Denmark a 97.
Below is a list of the World Cup countries grouped alphabetically by their World Cup group stage assignments, along with their Freedom House scores.

Group A:
Ecuador (71), Netherlands (97), Qatar (25), Senegal (68)

B Group:
England (93 for the UK as a whole), Iran (14), USA (83), Wales (93 for the UK)

Group C:
Argentina (84), Mexico (60), Poland (81), Saudi Arabia (7)

Group D:
Australia (95), Denmark (97), France (89), Tunisia (64)

Group E:
Costa Rica (91), Germany (94), Japan (96), Spain (90)

Group F:
Belgium (96), Canada (98), Croatia (85), Morocco (37)

Group G:
Brazil (73), Cameroon (15), Serbia (62), Switzerland (96)

Group H:
Ghana (80), South Korea (83), Portugal (95), Uruguay (97)

3. Choose the country with the lowest GDP per capita

Soccer World Cup Qatar 2022

It’s fun to cheer on the underprivileged, and the difference in access to facilities and salaries varies greatly by country. What a European or North American country can offer its squad is very different from what an African or Central American team can offer.

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States amounts to more than US$69,000 per capita, according to World Bank data, and that of Qatar, rich in oil, exceeds US$61,000. Senegal’s GDP per capita, the lowest in the tournament, is less than US$1,700. Ecuador, Iran, Tunisia, Ghana, and Morocco have a GDP per capita of less than US$6,000.

Note on the combination of rules #1 and #2: Teams that score relatively high in terms of freedom despite relatively low GDP per capita are Ecuador, Ghana and, to a lesser extent in terms of GDP, 2018 World Cup finalist Croatia.

4. Choose the team that has never won

Thirty-two countries participate in the World Cup. Only eight countries have ever won the World Cup trophy. It gets repetitive, and all but one are in the tournament this year.

You can tell by the number of stars the players wear on their jerseys. Brazil have won five and Germany have won four times. Italy have also won four, but are not participating in the tournament this year. Argentina, France and Uruguay have won two, and Spain and England one.

That still leaves a wide open field of 25 teams seeking their country’s first world title.

5. Respect the agony of defeat

If you tune in to the matches, you can expect exciting upsets, sublime goals and human drama, all replayed with the help of a video assistant referee, or VAR.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo: this World Cup will probably be the last chance to see two masters who have failed to win the tournament. In the twilight of their careers, neither is favorite this year to win the trophy for their country (Argentina and Portugal, respectively).

Damn. Each World Cup offers England a new, probably doomed chance to rid themselves of the curse of failure that has haunted them since they won the 1966 tournament. Their death throes are a compelling television spectacle.

Brazil can exert its otherworldly dominance over European teams. Or not, depending on which Brazil shows up. Anything short of a victory will be a crushing defeat for them.

And finally, the United States may come to understand why its men’s team is so mediocre internationally in a sport that so many American children love and in which its women’s national team has dominated for so long.