2022 Nov 20 - Qatar 2020

It is the start of Qatar world cup, an event that like like Britain's financial mess has been years in the making and which will likely end with England doing very badly. This is a football tournament being played in the desert because the governing body and corruption go together like copy and paste, which is coincidentally the method by which they printed the voting ballots several years ago. I was going to say that they go together like Gin & Tonic or Beer & Football except that brings us to the point that alcohol will be banned at this year's tournament, much to the chagrin on Budweiser. All because once again they're playing it in an punitive islamic police state where even George Best would probably be scared into sobriety. At least that's how I think the the law works there. We've all heard the stories about how it's a brutal justice system, but then I heard someone saying that when it came to shoplifting, the police were fairly hands-off. Either way the absense of any beer makes me feel bad for the England fans, how after all are they supposed to drown their sorrows when they narrowly scrape a 0-0 draw with Wales.

The next item of contension are of course the actual statdiums, most of which will never be used after the tournament and all of which were built to emulate other grand Middle Eastern projects like Babylon or the Pyramids, in so much as they're very flashy and they were built by tens of thousands of slaves and prisoners. The government there has come under international pressure to disclose how many migrant workers died during the construction phase. No number has been released but if you ask me, it's a brave person that eats the stadium hot dogs.

For me the one good thing to come out of this tournament is the fact that questionable teams like Iran might be a force to be reckoned with this time around. They are after all used to the weather unlike teams like France or Germany. This is Qatar's first appearance too at a World Cup, getting automatic qualification in exchange for hosting it. I'm not too sure if they're any good and nobody knows too much about them, I asked a friend if he could name any Qatar players and he responded with Eric Claptop, Brian May & Jimmy Page.

All and all, the thing is going to be a mess, although as a one off experiment in excess I am vaguely looking forward to it. You also have to have admiration for the Fifa officials who have had to defend every single twist and turn of the farce, especially FIFA president Gianni Infantino who deflected from the topic of human rights abuses by claiming that Europe was just as bad and going off on a meanderring rant: "Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arabic. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker" I can only assume with that strange list of self-identification, he's thinking of applying for a job at the BBC or with Nicola Sturgeon.
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