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Blog 1: The Beauy blog... from Qatar!

So here I am in Doha, where I’ll be posting frequently about the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

A fans way of keeping the folks ‘back home’ informed about the 22nd FIFA World Cup. Speaking of which…

I didn’t know much about Qatar before I arrived. On the plane over the bloke who had bagged the window seat asked me “name a decent Qatar player” Jimi Hendrix I said. Having heard about the beer ban before we boarded, we made the most of the plane trip and now we’re best buddies. With Ben Zema out our boys will eat the Frogs. The first shock of the World Cup is in the bag.

Yet how did we get here? By plane. No! How did the World Cup start? Formed in 1904, the Federation International de Football Association assumed responsibility for organising the world’s only international football tournament of the time which was at…the Olympics. And the first winners of the Olympics World Cup were….Great Britain in 1900, followed by Canada in 1904, Great Britain again in 1908 and 1912. Then the First World War came, and once it was over the Brits refused to play their erstwhile enemies withdrawing from the Olympic football event. Belgium won the resumed Olympics competition in 1920 followed by Uruguay in 1924 and 1928. It was Jules Rimet who had the idea for a World Cup in 1928. Did he know that football, the beautiful game, is the biggest thing ever in World history. You may laugh but more people play it, watch it, love it then anything that has ever come before. Think about it…no other sport or entertainment has ever had so many people involved….in the history of mankind. Rimet was the 3rd President of FIFA whose idea was to create an event “to encourage mankind to be one.” Hmmm, we haven’t seen a ball kicked yet in Qatar but it doesn’t feel that either FIFA or the world is “as one” listening to its President the infantile Infantino.

So how is it that Qatar, a nation of little more than 300,000 citizens (OK, a bit bigger than Geelong!) got the right to host the World Cup? Are they past winners? No. Do they have great football tradition? No. Do they meet FIFA’s current raison d’etre of growing the game worldwide? Hmmm….don’t think so. Independent since 1971, Qatar has been ruled by the Al Thani dynasty since 1825, so how come the World Cup is here. Apparently, it was Michael Platini, president of FIFA’s largest football confederation UEFA covering the 55 countries of Europe, and a French hero who urged FIFA to give the WC to Qatar in 2010. Some say this was in exchange for a $14 billion arms contract between France and Qatar. 2 years later the Al Thani family purchased France’s biggest soccer club Paris St Germain (PSG). Anyway, back to Platini, both he and his boss, Sepp Blatter, were subsequently impeached for taking bribes and were barred from all football until 2023. And US federal prosecutors have since charged 41 FIFA officials with bribery, fraud and money laundering. Aaah, that’s why I’m here! Surely no more grubbery can be associated with the beautiful game…and with only hours before the hosts play their opening game with Ecuador breaking news! That’s my $10 down the drain! Tune in tomorrow for more!

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