If you build it, they will come. Qatar 2022 is now upon us, with the opening kickoff slated for Sunday. The World Cup is taking place in a tiny desert dictatorship with virtually no footballing tradition. What could possibly go wrong? When the opening whistle blows, will we all forget about human rights, the carbon footprint of air-conditioned stadiums built from scratch and a fall schedule that factors in the desert heat?
Do you blame Qatar for being Qatar or FIFA for being FIFA? How far removed are the decision makers based out Zurich from concern for what is best for the beautiful game?
Football fans can easily get confused by blurred lines: almost all the players who represent their country at the tournament got their start for a local amateur team run by volunteers. The sport's system of promotion and relegation can make soccer seem like some supranational public service to provide recreation and opportunity. But at its top flight, it is strictly a business. What accountability exists? What does this World Cup say about power, money and globalisation?
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