Qatar 2022: while waiting for football, a little political circus!

Posted on November 22, 2022


We were expecting a sporting event, we have the right to a tragico-comic circus under the control of Qatar and its various supporters. Between parading fake supporters, last-minute cheating by sponsors and a FIFA president playing roughshod over racism woke up To respond to criticism of the World Cup in the field of human rights, the viewer has the right to draw a series of sketches on the sidelines of scheduled matches.

So it’s time to get out your popcorn and a pack of (non-alcoholic) beer to remind the boycotters that this disaster has been at least… 12 years in the making, and it has a name: economic diplomacy. Again, this is the politicization of a popular event around the world, which is becoming a general uproar today.

Qatar, our rich friends

Unfortunately, in this story, we cannot say that the French political class is distinguished by the great foresight and moral intransigence that it regularly displays when it comes to international politics.

Some will remember that it was Nicolas Sarkozy who insisted on supporting Michel Platini’s candidacy for the 2022 World Cup. The former footballer’s voice will be decisive, if not the only one, in making the world smaller. friendly country France. Vanessa Ratignye and Pierre Péan remembered France under influence (2014) Former President of the Republic’s former Triple Golden Ball lobbying case:

” [Sarkozy] He didn’t ask me to vote for the Qataris, says Platini. He just told me during a meeting that it would be good if I did it,” he explained to Spain’s website in March 2011, adding: “He knows I’m free and independent. “He told me the Qataris are good people,” he ran away again the following summer SoFoot ; The magazine notes that, “Warning about Platini’s reluctance on Qatar’s candidacy, Sarkozy would suggest that the UEFA president reconsider his position on the matter. »

Then “good people”. Only the small absolute monarchy did not have such a good reputation. Qatar’s medieval labor practices were already making headlines, and to make matters worse, the country suffered a major diplomatic crisis in 2017, long after its rapprochement with France. Three of his neighbors accused him of supporting terrorism. For its part, the United States has since repeatedly accused the monarchy of being too kind to the jihadists.

In 2014, David S. Cohen, the adviser on terrorism and financial intelligence of the US Department of the Treasury, even accused the Qatari authorities of allowing financiers on international blacklists to live freely in the country: “There are individuals in Qatar who are financed by the United States and the United Nations, who are not under the laws of Qatar.” no action has been taken. »

Qatar 2022: Democracy and the capture of football

Things have changed since then, and Qatar has cleaned things up by taking more radical anti-terror measures and emerging from obscurity. In July 2017, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised Qatar after it became the first regional state to sign a memorandum of understanding with the US to combat the financing of terrorism.

However, it will have to wait until 2021 for Saudi Arabia to agree to reopen its borders with Qatar. And, of course, Qatar remains an authoritarian regime – it’s definitely a monarchy – according to the Democracy Index 2021 Economistscoring particularly low in terms of political pluralism and free elections.

That wasn’t what worried France’s political class so much in the 2010s. Some will recall the interview with Ayla, who was happy to see Anna Hidalgo become one of the richest clubs in the world thanks to the purchase of the Emirates by Anna Hidalgo, who was not entirely oblivious to his sulphurous reputation. … He wasn’t the only one to throw in the towel on his fine principles to help our deep-pocketed friends. But today he very nicely chooses to call for a boycott of the championship in the name of the capital…

Two pages of advertising to remember during the France-Australia match: the virtue in politics is regulatory volatility and beware, even your most innocuous hobbies can become sponsorships for the least-disclosed propaganda companies.

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