After Argentina were crowned World Cup champions in Qatar, the long journey of criticism that has accompanied this tournament may be about to reach the finish line.
The Gulf host country inaugurated the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East and North Africa with a verse from the Koran, delivered by a Qatari youth with special needs, before Doha brought the curtain down on its tournament dropped with a Gulf print by wearing Argentina captain Lionel Messi “the Basht” in a highly symbolic shot. .
Messi fulfilled a long-awaited dream on Sunday, leading his country Argentina to the FIFA World Cup at the age of 35 by beating France 4-2 on penalties after original and extra time in a 3- ended. 3 draw in an exciting and crazy game at Lusail Stadium.
Ali Rabie, an academic and sports journalist, describes Qatar as “lucky” because its tournament is connected with the crowning of the first tango dancers in 36 years.
Rabie told Al-Hurra that “Argentina’s victory in the World Cup in Qatar will be immortalized in history because people will remember Lionel Messi’s victory in this World Cup just as they remember Maradona’s victory in the World Cup tournament in Mexico in 1986.”
“I got what you want”
Despite the conclusion, the critical voices continued for this controversial presentation, which started 12 years ago and continued until the end of the tournament.
Criticism initially focused on allegations of bribery, then violations of human rights and the conditions of migrant workers, as well as the rights of the LGBT community.
The New York Times said that while this tournament cost more than anyone could have imagined – in wealth, time and lives – Qatar “got what it wanted in the end”.
And when the fireworks filled the sky above Lusail, as the Argentine fans chanted and their star Messi smiled as he lifted the cup he had been waiting for all his life, everyone knew the state of Qatar, the newspaper said.
Sports analyst Rashid Nassar believes that the excitement of the World Cup matches, including the final between Argentina and France, which saw dramatic events, in addition to the “wonderful” organization, was in Qatar’s favor and “helped make the World Cup in this appeared. beautiful image.”
Nassar told Al-Hurra that “the viewer likes these types of competitive matches with high interest … more than a surprise and a dramatic match that the tournament has seen in all roles.”
He added that Qatar “achieved what it wanted” after it “showed a true image of Arab traditions and culture based on generosity and narrowed the gap between first and third world countries with this impressive organization.”
Argentina’s crowning of captain Messi’s first title and the third in its history ended a tumultuous decade for a championship awarded in “a bribery scandal tainted with allegations of human rights abuses, deaths and injuries that suffered by migrant workers was used to build the $200 billion facilities,” according to the “New York Times.”
The newspaper pointed out that money is the only element in Doha’s organization of the most important sporting event on earth.
But Nassar, despite saying that the World Cup “relied mainly on money,” emphasized that “there is precision and distinction in the organization,” adding that “money alone does not buy everything.”
Controversial decisions remained until two days before the start of the tournament following the ban on the serving of alcoholic beverages in stadiums and continued to prevent the wearing of the flag of pride inside the World Cup facilities.
Nevertheless, Qatar achieved a feat that none of its Arab neighbors managed by hosting the World Cup, which was unthinkable in the years before former FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced that the Gulf state would receive the honour.
In this regard, Rabih believes that hosting a major sporting event for a country and exploiting it for its own benefit “is not a novelty.”
He said: “The principle in the presentation of any sporting, social, political or economic event is benefit and sending messages in various directions.”
These international organizations renewed their criticism of Qatar and FIFA over the treatment of thousands of migrant workers who contributed to the construction of stadiums and other infrastructure in Qatar. The World Cup final, on Sunday, coincided with the International Day of Migrants and the National Day of the State of Qatar.
“No matter how good football often is, the tournament’s cost is disproportionate to the hundreds of thousands of workers who have paid illegal recruitment fees, had their wages stolen or even lost their lives,” said Steve Cockburn, head of economic and social justice at said. Amnesty International.
In a statement to CNN, he said the workers and their families “deserve compensation” from the authorities, adding: “We still expect FIFA and Qatar to commit to ensuring fairness to all those who made this World Cup possible. “
For his part, Rabih, who lives in Australia, said: “Qatar has faced a lot of criticism, rightly and wrongly,” noting that most of the criticism is not motivated by humanity or to bring about positive change not, as he put it.
He continued, “The coverage of some Australian news sites was not objective at all. More than one news was published about the presence of vacant seats in some group stage matches, and this is normal for those who follow football, especially in the World Cup. .”
He pointed to the issue of workers’ rights, saying that it is “a big problem in Qatar and the Arab Gulf in general, but the number of reports that have already spoken about the victims who have fallen while building and preparing stadiums have for the tournament in their name and in their eyes is very little,” as he put it.
“FIFA has a policy with clear rules that protect human rights, but all too often FIFA has sided with its wealthy partner Qatar against the most vulnerable,” says Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch.
Doha confirmed that it had made significant improvements in recent years, including introducing a minimum wage and easing many aspects of the sponsorship system, which gave employers powers over workers’ rights to change jobs or leave the country to leave without the employer’s permission.
Worden noted that the Qatari authorities’ labor reforms were “too late” and “too narrow” or “poorly implemented” for many migrant workers.
Qatar is defending itself, saying the Gulf country is being subjected to an “unprecedented campaign” of “slander” and “double standards” over its hosting of the 2022 World Cup.
In this context, Nassar spoke of an “inferior view” on the part of the West towards the Arab countries, explaining that European countries in particular view their developing counterparts with a “superior” view.
He said: “There is an inferior, not racist view of the Arab world, and they were not aware that a small Arab country from the developing world has the right to organize the World Cup.”
However, Nassar stressed that “through this wonderful image, Qatar will contribute to changing this view of inferiority.”