Let me for a minute, take my American cap off, and don my citizen of the world cap instead for just a moment and play some devils advocate.

Qatar…. the world cup, man, you guys are pissed! the world cup is actually happening there, even though Sepp Blatter came out on Swiss TV this week and said it was a mistake.
Now the various reactions I have seen just make me laugh, or shudder or both, to replies like “well the douchbag shouldn’t have taken the bribes” and “he shouldn’t have voted for it then” even though Blatter didn’t vote or endorse a Qatar world cup.
Now I’m not going to sit here and spout that Qatar has earned it’s place at the head of the footballing table and I daresay the rumors of gold bars being slipped into Jack Warners blazer pockets have a ring of truth to them. But here lies not my case for the defense of Qatar, but my case for the prosecution for everyone to just shut up and move on.

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The USA came second in the vote. so ergo, if Qatar hadn’t have bought the bid, then the world cup would be coming to the USA in 2022. Well stomp our feet and tantrum like a 2 year old, it’s just not fair! Let’s highlight the nastiness of the place that is Qatar. and how the entire emirates is being constructed by poorly paid and poorly treated Asian subcontinent contractors. Lets’s moan and scoff at the idea of a world cup played in the blazing sun, and the audacity of moving it to cooler months. How dare they! they don’t even drink!

Listen to me America. I thought this land was all about gods, guts and glory. Quit your bitching, you’re coming off as whiny pussies. Boo Hoo, life isn’t fair. We’re the capitalistic flag bearer for the world. Are we upset someone bought the world cup or upset someone just outbid us? Lets not make any mistake here, all these events are bought and sold. The Salt Lake Olympics and the bribery scandals that went with it are a prime example.

Now, the slavery aspect. Let’s not kid ourselves it’s horrific what goes on over there. But from a land here that was built off the back of unpaid labor, we might be missing the point that just because it’s 2014 here, it might be still 1845 in other parts of the world yet to go through a human rights renaissance. When we’ve been water boarding their kin for the best part of a decade, we lose the moral high ground to point out their atrocities.
So why now are we moaning about the conditions of the workers over there? why not twenty years ago when the Emirates first started importing large numbers of Bangladeshi and Nepali workers to turn the desert into a millionaires playground? why weren’t we complaining ten years ago as Dubai built the Palm Islands and the Burj? Because we hadn’t lost a World Cup ten and twenty years ago. Our hypocrisy is crushing just as much as being late to the party is.
We’re beginning to stink of sour grapes.

And let’s face it. America. You can be upset you’ve not got the world cup, but aside from Mexico as late stand in for troubled Columbia in 1986, no single country has ever had 2 world cups in such short amount of space. Italy has had 2 world cups, spaced 56 years apart, France at 60 years apart and Brazil at 64 years apart. What makes America so special to deserve another so soon after 1994?

We’re not starved for international football tournaments here. aside the world cup in 1994 we’ve had 12 gold cups hosted either soley or jointly in the USA since 1991. The women have had 2 world cups in the USA, and the LA and Atlanta olympic tournaments. Not to mention the qualifying from the Concacaf region for London in 2012 was held in the USA too.
Added to the Copa America to be held here in 2016 and the various international and club friendlies that get played here every summer, we’re not being bypassed for top line soccer tournaments. We have no room to complain that life isn’t fair.

But, but, but…… Isnt’ it hot in Qatar. it’s the desert, they have no soccer tradition. Sepp Blatter was elected on the promise of taking the World Cup to new frontiers. South Africa, and Qatar are definitely new frontiers, you can’t dispute that. The USA isn’t anymore. whether or not we like it, we’re an old economy on the way down with the old world order. It’s clear, the new world economies of Brazil, Russia and the Emirates are here and have signaled it with a bang. The Qatar world cup will go ahead in part because the major world power houses such as PSG, Arsenal, Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid to name but a few are all indebted to the Middle East. They won’t make waves about the tournament and whether or not it is moved to the winter. The star players are paid for on the oil money dime, they won’t complain.

And a point on the heat, I know it’s not the same, but USA94 had games at 2pm in June in Miami. I remember Ray Houghten of the Republic of Ireland being yellow carded for playing the ball while he was having a drink. And when MLS has teams playing all over the south when it’s roasting (with more to come), it’s a bit of a raw nerve.

We just have to suck it up and accept it for what it is. The days of being handed world sporting events on a platter like LA, Atlanta, Salt Lake and USA 94 are over. It was the exception to the rule that we’ve been so spoiled and now we will have a barren spell as more affluent economies demand their time to shine. We can either moan about it or try and put our efforts into winning the damn thing on the field.

If this left you a seething mass of rage, tweet me at @matthewb76 and we’ll discuss it…. and by discuss it, I mean I’ll just ignore you.

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An Idiot Abroad

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