Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Middle East and Safety at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Disclaimer: I value religious affiliation not at all. I value honesty, faith in the human spirit and a world in which every living thing has an equal role in its creation. (Mushy nonsense finished)

The list below is a partial list of those countries which may qualify for the 2022 World Cup. The number to the right of each country is the number of times that country has appeared in the World Cup Finals.

Nigeria 5

Saudi Arabia 4
Tunisia 4
Algeria 4
Morocco 4
Iran 4

Egypt 2
Turkey 2
North Korea 2

Indonesia 1
Iraq 1
Senegal 1

Suppose six of the above countries qualifies to play in Qatar 2022.
Barring a complete disaster the United States will qualify.

Throw in the slim chance that Israel qualifies. (They have qualified one previous time.)

Given the above scenario, on a scale of 1-Infinity (1 being super safe and Infinity being Armageddon), how safe would you feel attending the 2022 Cup? How safe do you think the teams would feel?

Now, ask yourself, from a safety standpoint, does it even matter if any of those countries qualify? 


Unknown said...

I'd probably feel safer in Qatar than somewhere like Brazil. Also, I'm atheist and white, so I'm not being defensive, but what is the deal with the islamophobia here? First the previous article about the working conditions in Qatar (fair enough, but stuff like that happened in Brazil and South Africa too), then this article saying you should be concerned about going to a Muslim country and being surrounded by Muslims from other countries. Plenty of English, Irish, Italian, Croatian, Serbian, and other fans have caused problems in domestic and international matches too.

Larry, was your site hacked or something? What the hell is the deal with these articles? I'm not a fan of Qatar hosting a World Cup, but that's based on:

1) the size of the country (only 1 big city)
2) the heat
3) complete lack of soccer culture/history
4) lack of infrastructure
5) possibility of peoples personal rights being restricted due to very conservative (by western standards) social 'norms'
6) loads more stuff

Note, being scared of Muslims and fearmongering isn't on that list. Russia isn't the most progressive country either, and they have plenty of human rights abuses as well, where's the hate article on that?

I really like this blog, but these last two articles, particularly this one, has made me wonder what kind of content you're trying to put on here. It seems a very odd departure from past articles.

Larry W Johnson II said...

Hi Kyle, thanks for the comment and for reading. Not hacked:) I let David give his honest thoughts on topics and has creative freedom as far as what that is. I'm not big on topics like the politics behind World events because it's been going on since the beginning of time, but many are. I've got a roster breakdown coming up, hopefully you'll stick around! - Larry

vidda grubin said...

Hey Kyle.

Thank you for the comment. Sorry I didn't respond sooner.

I put a disclaimer at the beginning of this article precisely because people tend to jump immediately to extremes in regards to other's intent. Your perception seems to be that my motivation comes from a fear or hatred of Muslims.

Like many soccer nuts, I've played with people of many different cultures, religions and colors. I can honestly call many of the people I have played with friends. They don't seem to care much about my lack of religious affiliation and I don't care much about their chosen religious affiliation.

First, you compare the working conditions in Qatar to Brazil or South Africa. Have you followed what has happened in Qatar in regards to the stadium construction workers? While in Brazil there were a handful of deaths during the construction of the stadiums, and each death was considered a serious event causing construction to stop and questions asked, already in Qatar their have been hundreds of deaths. The horrible possibility of upwards of 3000-4000 deaths in Qatar by the time first kick 2022 rolls around is more than enough reason to approach this subject in the fashion that I have...from a standpoint of human dignity and safety.

Second, their is no denying that there are some small groups of very well armed and motivated extremists in that region of the world. They are chopping off heads and attempting to establish a culture built on intolerance, violence and repression. I could care less whether they happened to be Muslim, Christian, Jewish or Atheist like yourself. It is the real world expression of belief that matters.

Third, back to your perception that I would be fearful of being surrounded by Muslims. Why do you immediately assume I'm worried about Muslims in general? The article title is clear. The disclaimer is clear. The situation in the Middle East is clearly dangerous, dangerous in a way unique in our world.

Fourth, I'm surprised at the reasons you give for why Qatar should not host the Cup. Based on those things it's simply an inconvenience, a little corruption and a difference of social "norms." Do you really believe that?

Hundreds of people are dying to give you the chance to watch some soccer. Are you okay with that?

The citizens of Qatar make up 20% of the overall population. That 20% viciously, via torture, rape and murder, upholds those "norms" you refer to. Are you okay with that?

I'm not okay with Qatar 2022. I wish my disappointment hinged on a little heat, corruption and difference in cultural "norms."

Sadly, while I am disappointed in the corruption within FIFA, I am horrified with the awarding of your, my and all of our World Cup soccer tournament to Qatar. Not because it's hot...because there are people running that country who think nothing of enslaving, torturing, raping and murdering human beings who don't fit their "norm."