Headline, November 23 2022/ HONOURS : ''' '' QATAR'S FOOTBALL Q. E. D. '' '''



 Q. E. D. '' '''


WHEN FIFA ANNOUNCED IN 2010 THAT QATAR would host this year's World Cup, football fans and sports pundits were left scratching their heads. 

Qatar, it was said again and again, had no real business hosting the tournament : The weather is too hot : there aren't enough stadiums; the country doesn't even have a halfway decent football team. And of course, there was the question of who would be building the sites for the games and under what conditions.

As the regretful former FIFA president who had announced Qatar's winning bid 12 years ago said recently of the country, ''Football and the World Cup are too big for it.''

There was some merit to the complaints : Searing July temperatures would make a summer tournament impossible, and it's true that the national team has never previously qualified for the World Cup.

But some of the backlash seemed to be rooted in false cultural assumptions about Qatar and the Middle East more broadly, including a belief that the region lacked a history of football.

When the tournament opened on Sunday, it marked the first time that the Arab world, with its population of more than 440 million, has hosted the World Cup since it began in 1930. Nonetheless, the region has a century-long history with the beautiful game.

The story of  Arab football - like so much in the region - is tied up in the history of colonialism and the struggle against it. British and French officials introduced football as part of efforts to cultivate obedience and discipline amongst colonized people, through an emphasis on the physical conditioning and rule-based structure that football offers.

In turn, local Arab elites frequently invoked their establishment of football clubs and organized competitions as a marker of social and cultural advancement in their struggle for independence.

IN EGYPT, JORDAN, PALESTINE AND SUDAN, nationalist movements fighting for independence from colonial powers showcased football's role in protests, the establishment of political parties and strengthening the sense of national identity.

ALGERIA'S independence movement, known as F.L.N., formed a team-in-exile in 1958 as a part of its battle against the French rule. The team competed against other national teams even before there was an independent Algeria.[Under pressure from France, FIFA punished teams that played matches with the F.L.N. squad.]

Qatar's national league, too, predates the country's 1971 independence from Britain by nearly a decade.

However, the significance of the first Arab World Cup has been overshadowed by other issues, many of them legitimate. The biggest concern has been about the rights of migrant workers in Qatar. Human rights watchdogs, journalists, fans and players have all spoken out.

While the announcement of major reforms that promise to dismantle the kafala system has been encouraging, the question of enforcement will linger longer after the end of the World Cup and the global spotlight has turned elsewhere.

One would hope that future World Cup hosts - and their labor practices - are given the same kind of scrutiny.

On one level, the Qatar World Cup represents all that is wrong in hyper commodified megaevents : global consultancies, multinational corporations, government agencies, FIFA itself. 

And yet this year's tournament also makes clear that the game is no longer the exclusive domain of European states and their erstwhile Latin American colonies.

FOOTBALL is a cultural force like no other. Its intricate history has transcended boundaries and captured the hearts of millions in the Middle East and beyond. It is something on which to project hopes and fears, anxieties and aspirations.

As the teams representing 32 nations take to the field in the month ahead, those aspirations will take center stage.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research of Mega and Great Events of the world, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Abdullah AL-Arian, a history professor at Georgetown University in Qatar and the editor most recently, of ''Football in the Middle East : State, Society and the Beautiful Game.''

With respectful dedication to the people of Qatar, the Middle East, the World, the football fans of the world, and all the Football teams taking part in the World Cup.

See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - the exclusive ownership of every student in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!