Cut-ar, Cut-er, Qu-tar, Gut-ar, Qwt-ar? According to Wikipedia, it’s “Gutter” – so Gutter, it is. I remember Qatar being used as the base of command for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. I also thought I remembered Qatar was where Norman Schwartzkopf gave his famous, Gulf War briefings. But Schwartzkopf briefed from neighboring Saudi Arabia. Qatar was a British protectorate until 1971.
There are two things that Qatar doesn’t import – sand and oil. It has tons of both. The latter is the reason Qatar is hosting the 2022 World Cup. The tiny desert kingdom won its 2010 bid for the World Cup by “allegedly” out-bribing the competition. Later, investigations turned up lots of corruption from FIFA’s leadership, but none on Qatar’s end. That result has the same ring of truth as Joe Biden’s claims that he’s clean, so draw your own conclusions.
The World Cup is traditionally a summer event. Qatar couldn’t host it during the summer, because Qatar is miserable during the summer. Land temperatures average over 100 degrees, topping 115. The wind blows all the time, with gusts in the mid-20s. The sea water is miserable, too – reaching 90 degrees. FIFA had to move the start to late fall, when conditions are less-miserable.
Qatar had to build the infrastructure to host the World Cup. It didn’t have the population to satisfy construction needs, so it advertised for workers. Workers showed up from impoverished nations. Even people desperate for work didn’t want to work in the scorching heat, but they couldn’t leave. Their passports were confiscated. Qatar had created a cadre of forced labor.
The stadiums are ready, but in the last few days, fans traveling to the sandy kingdom were greeted with devastating news. Beer is banned. The Muslim nation had promised to allow beer drinking in their stadiums, but in the last few days, Qatar turned off the tap. There will be no alcohol for patrons. Budweiser, the “official” beer brand for FIFA’s premier event, has a lot of beer in Qatar that it cannot sell. Stadium cups, with Budweiser logos, will be filled with non-alcohol Budweiser brands like Bud Zero. Budweiser reps were trying to put on a brave face over the change, saying it will be great to showcase their non-alcohol brand. Okay, Bud. Whatever you say.
And, Team USA has decided to protest Qatar’s rigid social rules by redesigning the USA breast logo with rainbow colors and…and a–brown stripe:
“It’s a sign of our values and what we represent as the men’s national team and U.S. Soccer, and we’re a group that believes in inclusivity.”
— SI Soccer (@si_soccer) November 14, 2022
I’m not sure who the core, virtue-signaled audience is supposed to be. Is Team USA virtue-signaling at Qatar, at the rest of the world, or at America? If they are trying to build on their fanbase, I kinda doubt that pandering to a small demographic is going to draw more fans. I don’t know anyone who will be tuning in to watch because Team USA decided to rainbow-up the logo. In fact, there are plenty of people who went to from “maybes” to “no, thanks” and “hell, no.”
Like them, I am tired of being lectured. I identify as an American. Just play the sport, and leave your politics at home.