This Sunday, November 20, 2022, the opening ceremony of the World Cup is being held in Doha, the capital of Qatar. For several months, a part of the Western public opinion strongly opposes the choice of this heritage in the middle of the desert to host a major soccer competition: disrespect for human rights and labor rights, terrible waste of energy by construction. of air-conditioned stadiums in the middle of the desert
When asked about the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar, President Macron said that he “Don’t politicize sports”… In fact, sports have always been far from politics. Children pushing a ball outside don’t care any more than gentlemen pushing their carts across a well-polished lawn or fans watching a game on TV with their friends.
But it is completely different with major sporting events. These are hostages of politics, diplomacy and power politics from the beginning.
They are a reflection of their times, as the Qatar World Cup demonstrates: massive corruption, money laundering and denial of environmental constraints, the rise of non-Western countries and the awarding of the trophy in a flagrant disregard for moral values. of the West (workers’ rights, religious and sexual freedom, etc.).
What could be more political than the revival of the Olympic Games in 1894-1896, initiated by Pierre de Coubertin? This French aristocrat from a good family wanted to raise the West at its peak with its bourgeois shortcomings, sexual and racial prejudices. He wanted to develop a new person through the brave qualities of sports. Compulsory amateurs, the participants of the first Olympic Games had enough leisure time and income to allow them to train properly. They all belonged to European high society and had no idea of competing in the stadiums with the proletarians. And it goes without saying that women have no place in racing.
Not surprisingly, everything changed after the Great War, which dealt a fatal blow to the arrogance of this European bourgeoisie.