It’s a bit late to be protesting about Qatar’s World Cup – We are all hypocrites

It’s too late for Arsenal fans to change Qatar’s approach to human rights  by Dan Smith

In the next month there will be lots of propaganda coming out of Qatar. Plenty of claims and counter claim.

So, I thought before the World Cup kicks off this weekend, I should give you my point of view.

We have already seen how members of the Danish media were treated, challenged by security then apologised to once they realised the world had caught them out.

That will be symbolic of what the next few weeks will look like. The public told one thing but in private something different happening.

The likes of David Beckham has been criticised for endorsing Qatar as a host nation, while Robbie Williams and the Black Eye Peas will be performing at the opening/closing ceremony.

It’s unlikely that any celebrity will be using their platform to challenge the countries human rights record. That’s essentially the opposite of what they are being paid to do, and for their safety nor should they.

Easy for us far away to say we would, but how many people would generally want to debate how women and same sex couples are treated in Qatar, then step outside?

What hurts about Beckham’s role as an ambassador, is it confirms what we secretly know deep down that money talks.

Beckham’s not just an English sporting icon, he’s one of the poster boys of the whole of the UK.

He was part of the FA’s committee in 2010 dumbfounded when Sepp Blatter announced that Qatar had been chosen ahead of other bids.

On that day he was sat next to the future king and the Prime Minister.

Beckham didn’t need to be in business with Qatar to confirm the universe is corrupt.

It’s simply something we don’t want to admit to ourselves but in this instance, we can’t ignore it, we can’t cover our eyes and ears and pretend it’s not happening.

That’s what’s so absurd about this tournament.

All humans’ bad habits are on full display. The negative side of our personalities on full view.

Every nation has its own culture, and any visitor should respect those values.

For example, there’s nothing wrong with, due to religious beliefs, alcohol being unlawful.

A country shouldn’t change their principles based on football. What they should have done is not lie and pretend they could offer the West, the match day experience they are used too.

It was up to FIFA to point that out.

Charged with representing all associations, FIFA and Qatar for over a decade argued consuming alcohol wasn’t an issue. They shamefully waited 48 hours before Qatar vs Ecuador to change the rules regarding stadiums selling alcohol (once tickets and travel has been purchased).

Guess the part of the venue where they will turn the other cheek?

In the corporate section!

That tells you everything.

If both parties can change their promises on something as trivial as what you can drink, then what else will alter?

The likes of Gary Neville has been called out for his double standards, preaching why the hosts are unsuitable but then taking a pay check from the same nation.

Yet look deeper and we all hypocrites.

Simon Jordan and Have I Got News For You have all mocked the pundit for ‘selling out’.

Yet they fail to question the morality of their employers, with Talk Sport and the BBC equally getting on the same flight.

Am I wrong for disagreeing with how Qatar treat females and sexual orientation, while still watching the sport they are presenting?

That’s why it’s called sports washing.

Saudi Arabia have been doing the same with boxing and wrestling, a country with just as much questionable human rights record.

Pay millions for a product so entertaining you know will attract eyes, allowing them to present a version of the Middle East they want you to see.

If you want to look deep enough, we all do what Gary Neville is doing.

The Premier League sells TV rights to the region, essentially countries have bought clubs in the top flights, Real Madrid and Barcelona have fixtures outside of Europe.

The UK has trade deals with Saudi Arabia.

Those business relationships are not a reflection of an approval of how that nation is being run.

Jurgen Klopp said it best the other week.

While I don’t agree with everything the Liverpool manager says, especially when he’s being passive aggressive, he’s right to question those in power.

The German’s stance that a lot more high profile organisations with a lot more say could have protested about this tournament a lot sooner is hard to argue.

As soon as they won the rights to host the World Cup, Qatar’s human rights record was common knowledge.

Stories of how migrants have been treated have been told for years.

Campaigners and charities have for just as long voiced concerns over equality being an issue for fans who travel.

The FA, Harry Kane, ITV, the Royal Family, etc all could have refused England’s participation.

Big name teams or players boycotting really would have spread awareness.

After 10 years those with authority felt unwilling or unable to make that stance.

So, it’s unfair to put that on others to have that moral compass when the damage has been done.

So, whatever you see or hear in the next month, just remember it’s not the players, pundits or fan’s fault!

Someone in power could have set an example, but it was easier to turn the other cheek.


Tags World Cup


  1. Dan Smith it’s seems you are such a wonderful researcher thought I will not specifically comment on what you wrote in this article your are really a thoughtful person it’s always a pleasure for me and many arsenal fans in this site to always read your articles here keep it up brother and for this world cup I’ll be happily watching my fellow Africa nations play from my county kenya.

  2. In the Qur’an (Qur’an 49:13, among other verses), God created humans from male and female, and despite the empirical differences among humans (based on race, gender, etc.), the Qur’an regards them as equals and only ranks humans based on their moral choices and piety.
    Qatar is a Muslim country and should abide by their religious laws which is women have equal rights to men and women should have their own wealth and inheritance
    According to Islam,God has given man this right of equality as a birthright. Therefore no man should be discriminated against on the ground of the colour of his skin, his place of birth, the race or the nation in which he was born. So non Arabs workers should be treated fairly
    It appears that Qatar don’t follow all of their religious laws
    Qatar is against LBGTQ and so is the bible so we can’t complain about that

    1. @Jakes Mradu
      But the Quran does not say we are all equal in other verses. It says that non muslims (Kafir / nin believers in Allah) are the worst of creatures. And that anyone that dies a non muslim is guaranteed JAHANNAM (enternal Hell Fire and torment) where allah will continuously burn off their skin, replace it with new skin and repeat the same process of burning and replacing that skin for eternity.

      Same as Christianity. Whoever does without accepting jesus as their only lord and saviour deserves eternal torment / hell fire. You can only be a decent person if you accept salvation..

      What kind of equality is that where you are condemned to so called eternal torment for a simple fact that you were not born of a given religious belief?

      That’s like saying anyone that does not conform to my personal political beliefs deserves to burn in eternal hell fire. But but my personal political party manifesto say we are all for equality.
      Isn’t it?

      1. @Goonster, you might be shocked by how many times the Quran agrees with what’s in the Bible.. infact, there’s a verse in the Quran that encourages anyone with doubt about what’s been written to consult the “ahl kitab”.. ahl kitab means “the people of the book”, in short, christians..
        Extreme doctrines arise either from misunderstanding due to continued translation where some words are dropped or added, or people twist things to suit their own agendas.. it also happens among christians

        1. @BK
          Please, don’t play such childish mental gymnastics / apologetics with me regarding the Quran, Bible, Torah etc..

          Brother, I was a religious person for the majority of my life. I have heard all those shallow childlike explanations from both Christians and Muslims. I have watched 100’s of debates Christian vs Muslim debates since 2006. And its always mental gymnastics from all parties trying to rationalise the disgusting veses from their own so called Holy scriptures. It’s always the good old “You are taking / reading this and that verse out of context”. That’s the Christian and Muslim go to line when confronted about their contradictory or immoral verses in their so called holy books.

          I have realised that you seem to use a lot of childish Whataboutism, you deflect a lot instead of addressing a given contention. You are using it here too.

          You failed to address my contention where the quran / allah clearly states that we are not all equal and that only muslims are the best of humans. That Christians and jews are worst of creatures while muslims are the best of creatures. It’s so convenient. Isn’t it? Lol

          I will ask you to explain this verse from the quran again. Surah Al Bayyinah 98:6;

          Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures.
          — Saheeh International

          Surely those who disbelieved from among the People of the Book and the polytheists will be in the fire of Jahannam , in which they will be living forever. Those are the worst of all human beings.
          — Mufti Taqi Usmani

          Surely (the ones) who have disbelieved among the population of the Book (Or: family of the Book; i.e., the Jews and Christians) and the associators (Those who associate others with Allah) will be in the Fire of Hell, eternally (abiding) therein; those are they who are the most evil beings (Literally: Initiated creatures).
          — Dr. Ghali

          Will be waiting for your apologetics explanation / mental gymnastics and word salad..

          1. Good morning, I read through this again and it seemed I was missing something, so I read through the comment I responded to and I figured I had somehow missed the bit that talks about Christianity. So I interpreted it as Muslim/Christian animosity which is why I responded with reference to Quran verses that agree with Christianity.
            My bad

  3. Corrupt Qatar ‘BOUGHT’ the World Cup’. Luckily corrupt Russia are not there to dance with Qatar. FIFA were as corrupt as hell, awarding, for plenty of pocket dosh, the competition to Qatar. All the countries who sold their souls and voted for Qatar are know and should be dealt with. Not going to happen.

  4. I know that the salary payment often got delayed for many months. The workers were forced to wait because:

    – The employers held the workers’ passports

    – They got threatened and false promises

    – Their status as low-level workers made them unable to have a fair legal battle against the local company owners

    I don’t know whether the employers can still held the workers’ passports or not, but there were many abuse cases towards informal workers. I’m glad the World Cup event exposed the low-level workers’ plights

    Having said that, I will still watch the World Cup, because I see it from a sporting standpoint. Unlike EPL, the sportsmanship of the World Cup can’t be ruined by obscene player transfer deals

    The human-rights problems had better be fought elsewhere. If the activists have enough proofs to sue Qatar and FIFA, they should do it as soon as possible

  5. It is never late to protest about injustices. Even if we can all be hypocrites does not mean should just turn a blind eye where we can clearly see human rights being violated in a consistent basis.
    I know that we as normal people were born into this money oriented Capitalistic society where big money, the rich and powerful are what is deemed as human success and moral. The more money one can make the more power, influence and worship they command. We have been brainwashed to believe that big money corporations, rich individuals, wealthy countries equals Morality. A persons Monetary / financial success is equated with them being our moral template that intelligence, rationality, critical thinking, skepticism etc should be guaged up on.
    So when the likes of Qatar etc are treating our fellow humans like crap we are programmed to apply our nonchalant, cognitive dissonance / whataboutism to rationalise the whole thing. “But but look over there, what about you yourself? What about the Western world? What about the kitchen sink etc?”

    Being nonchalant and spewing WHATABOUTISM when it comes to human rights makes me very nervous, uncomfortable and uneasy.. “But but what about so and so? But but what about you yourself?”

    As someone that has travelled around the world ( mostly Developing world) volunteering for my believed Charities like (World Vision and NGO’s since my gap year at University, and I can’t just sit back and not say anything whenever human rights are being denied. I have seen human rights violations; (tribalistic discrimination, women cultural abuse, child Labour and abuse, sexuality violations, religious discrimination etc). And it all makes me depressed when I see it happening in the 21st century, we are nearly entering 2023 and we still have such primitive thinking..

    1. Once again goonster, paying attention to some injustices and turning a blind eye to others is exactly what’s happening and the media (especially western) is the biggest tool.. I don’t know which part of the world you come from, but I’m African and I’ll use France as an example.. France has the 4th largest gold reserve in the world, which doesn’t add up when you consider the gold mines they have(or don’t).. coincidentally, France has troops in Mali “trying to help end a war”.. Mali is one of the African countries with the most gold deposits.
      I have a Congolese friend who once during a topic about the war in the country told of an incident where a speeding UN truck overturned and when locals rushed to rescue the occupants, they found it full of gold and despite people capturing video, it somehow never surfaced on any media channel.
      Zimbabwe is one of Africa’s richest in terms of mineral wealth. When Mugabe became president, he took back most of the white occupied land(especially farmland) that had been grabbed from Africans.. when he refused to relent, the country’s economy became a target for the western world..
      Gaddafi (Libya) vehemently opposed western imposing and meddling, he refused to trade with the western world(especially oil) and he actively tried getting all Arab nations to trade only amongst themselves.. he had also started lobbying for a United States of Africa, and that’s when the western world, using NATO (despite Libya not attacking any NATO member state) went to liberate Libya.. 12 yrs later, the liberated Libya is a shell of its former self.
      If I’m not mistaken,DRC is the largest coltan producer..the cell phones, laptops and pagers come at the cost of Congolese people burying their loved ones everyday so that the coltan is smuggled for manufacturers to get it at peanuts.. NONE OF THESE THINGS EVER SHOW UP ON WESTERN MEDIA

      1. @BK
        So what exactly are you arguing?
        I see a lot of Whataboutism and not a lot of substance.
        So we should just let these oppressive countries continue their Human Rights violation all because the West is also not perfect but people in these countries are for democracy and human right?

        What’s your point?

        1. The title of the article ends with “we are all hypocrites” and your 1st paragraph (It is never late to protest about injustices. Even if we can all be hypocrites does not mean should just turn a blind eye where we can clearly see human rights being violated in a consistent basis.)
          I was pointing out that turning a blind eye to violations happening in many more areas is unfortunately what’s happening

      2. Didn’t Gaddafi order his military to go street by street, house to house and door to door to eliminate the “cockroaches and rats” as he called them?

        No government is perfect, many have histories far worse than their present.

        Referencing a dictator who slaughters his own people for free speech and disagreeing with his rule is never a great example to cite.

        Don’t think any government ever that I am aware of has shrouded itself in fairness, justice, or purity. Whether racism, social / economic class, or many other metrics one could mention can be applied.

        Humans are imperfect by nature and so the social and political systems they create will also become imperfect.

        1. Mentioning Gaddafi was not disputing his dictatorship. He was a dictator that’s a fact. I was pointing out what I found confusing (Nato intervention which is not happening in Ukraine)

      3. @BK
        You need to start looking at things with a bit of maturity instead of through this shallow “Whataboutism” mindset you guys have been brainwashed into.
        Some of us have been and are always against any dictatorships / authoritarians (Gadaffi, Mugabe, Putin, Orban, Qatar, Saudi, Mussolini, Hi.tler, Franco, Stalin, The Mullahs of Iran, British colonial empire, the Bore (Farmers) of Southan Africa, American imperialism, communist china, North Korean dictatorship etc. You will never find me defending those id!ots, instead you will always find me and others criticising such dictatorships.

        And you keep going on about this both sides of the story spew, saying how bad and similar the likes of France, Britain, The US, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, Canada etc to primitive theocracies like Qatar etc. Now use your brain and tell me why the vast majority around the world dream of at least visiting and experiencing the Liberal West nations as compared to Those in the theocratic Middle East? People will risk their lives everyday to get on rafts and canoes to cross the ocean into these disgusting Western countries (France, Italy, the UK, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia etc? You have millions a year travelling for months just to get the US.

        How many do the same to get to Qatar, Saudi, Iran, Dubai, etc? People go to these middle countries out of desperation as a last resort, and when get there they are treated like crap / animals, slaves etc. Just read stories of how poor immigrants from Africa, South Asia, Thailand, philippines etc are treated in Qatar, Saudi, Dubai, etc..

        Every time we point out that the primitive and theocratic nature of these countries we have people like yourself deflecting and using childish “Whataboutism”. These Middle Eastern nations have to start living on the 21st century and stop oppressing their people and their human rights. This is nearly 2023 and not the 1800’s or 1980’s.
        Stop with these typical shallow talking point “But but, what about Britain, what about France, what about the US, what about Canada, Germany, etc in the 1700’s? They were also doing the same thing blah blah”

        It’s now and today. The Western countries afford Human Rights anf Freedoms. And we want our fellow humans being from around the world to also taste what freedom and human rights feel like before they die.

        I will encourage you to get out of this dead Whataboutism mentality that you seem to be operating in and start living on the real world where we are always trying to improve humanity. That nonchalant attitude if yours is dangerous and if everyone in human history had adapted it we would still be living under dictatorships, slavery would still be the order of the day, human rights and feedoms would still be controlled by only the rich and powerful. We would not have had all these Revolutionary eras from around the world.

        1. Mr Goonster, when I mentioned Mali, DRC and Libya, I was not referring to 1800’s or 1700’s. The French troops left Mali this year, 2022, citing coups as the reason but left out the fact that Malian civilians (who were in daily contact with these troops) held protests against their presence. Again, this happened in 2022.
          Nato attacked and liberated Libya in 2011. Today Libya is a failed state, and an ISIS stronghold. Nato did not attack Russia or even the annexed Ukrainian regions, saying Ukraine is not a member state.
          In DRC, people are slaughtered. Literally. Like chicken, their necks are cut from one end to the other and their corpses paraded in their compounds. This is happening in 2022 not 1890 sir.
          It is all I’m pointing out

  6. Have to watch the world cup I just love football too much.

    The employment situation struggles is real with the host nation and neighbors, hopefully it gets cleaning up after some of it coming to light.

    Never again must we have a repeat, but while emptying the bathtub we must not throw the baby out with the water.

  7. I see some celebrities using their exposure to say they won’t watch this World Cup because of this and that. Yesterday I read about Leah Williamson. One of my favorite footballers.

    But they are going to watch the one held in USA as if USA is an angel compared to Qatar. So the nation which attack a country and destroy everything and everyone in it is morally better than the one rejecting homosexuality.

    Russia is evil for invading Ukraine but USA is a Saint for invading Iraq. Russia should be boycotted but who boycotted USA?

    I don’t support USA, Russia or Qatar. I would rather have a world without wars.

    Regarding homosexuality I don’t care who a person sleeps with. Anyone can go sleep with a tree if they so choose that is their business but I don’t want them shoving it on my face at every turn. Ruining movies and other media. What happened to compelling stories?

    Why advertise your sexual activities to the world?

    I love the World Cup and national teams football. It is the only football that is still pure on the pitch not corrupted by money.

    This will be my last World Cup however because it seems it’s not a world cup anymore it’s western countries Cup. Supporting it when it conform with their cultures and views but smearing it when it doesn’t.

    We should leave matters of football on the pitch and leave politics out of it. If we want a country to be morally superior to watch their football then I don’t see many who are innocent.

    1. But the US don’t break FIFA rules and what they say when the bid for world cup doesn’t change
      It’s against FIFA rules for any of their association to discriminate
      So in the USA you can enter a stadium no matter your gender , race , sexual orientation.
      I would also ask how many people died in the US building stadiums
      When Qatar won the bid they lied as well as FIFA saying all would be welcome

      1. “So in the USA you can enter a stadium no matter your gender , race , sexual orientation.”

        You can’t in Qatar? I don’t think they will be checking every room to see who is sleeping with who will they?

        “I would also ask how many people died in the US building stadiums”

        How many died in Afghanistan, Vietnam and Iraq? Are their lives any less?

        Politics should stay out of sports. It’s impossible without prejudice, hypocrisy and double standards.

        Soon some of us will be longing for the days where we could just enjoy football tournaments without them being politicized.

        1. No but they have laws on women being allowed to enter stadiums on own ?

          But bringing up wars is politics
          America wars have nothing to do with their ability to welcome the world to watch football

          Bidding for a world cup you need to have stadiums and at zero point in their bid did Qatar say they would build stadiums by abusing illegal immigrants

          1. Can you give evidence of American stadiums builders being very well taken care of and well compensated?

            Those laws are for their own people? Have they stated foreign women would not be allowed to enter stadiums on their own?

            “But bringing up wars is politics
            America wars have nothing to do with their ability to welcome the world to watch football”

            What if it was Qatar who were guilty of those wars? Would the narrative be the same? I am sure not.

            1. Honestly mate it wouldn’t .
              You said yourself zero country is perfect .
              So when you go to a world cup as a fan you don’t care about who there at war with or who their president it

              You care do their culture and laws make it hard to host a world cup where equality would an issue
              In 2010 both Qatar and FIFA said it wouldn’t

              As for deaths of immigrants killed building American stadiums that’s for you to prove as the accusation is with you

              The point is America have stadiums already in place that dont need to be built

  8. This this the ridiculous dangerous system of Neo Capitalism / Capitalism on steroids leads to. It’s all about making money, does not matter how you make it. You can use humans as slaves, you can use child labour, you can take advantage of the poor, desperate and vulnerable (developing world workers, low minimum wage earners in the developed world etc) just work them for o death for your own gains. Be against higher wages for those struggling because it might cut into your next £1 billion profit. So lobby politicians, bribe them through campaign donations and get them elected in order for them to enact policies that will continue to benefit you the already well off.
    “Just let the markets dictate. Stop all these regulations that might benefit the workers and cut into mine and my shareholders dividends / profits”.

    Look at what happens when we let money and power be the main deciding factor:

    The West can invade Middle Eastern countries with impunity.

    Putin Russsia can invade the Ukraine eith impunity.

    China will go into Hong Kong or Taiwan if they feel like.

    Jeff Bezos of Amazon can work his desperate Amazon workforce into the ground for sh!t pay. Can use his £200 billion to fight unionization for his workers.

    Elon Musk just bought Twitter for $44 billion and is sacking employees with impunity. He is saying that they have to work at least 40 hours a week on the same wage and if they don’t think they can do that then they have 3 months to look for another job. He bought twitter to purge so called “WOKISM”.

    Qatar, Saudi, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries are some of the worst places for a human being to live. They treat minorities and immigrants like crap. They are for religious discrimination, treat women like property, discriminate on sexuality etc..

    That Saudu Arabian Lunatic ( Prince Mohammed bin Salman) ordered the killing and dismemberment of his Kingdom (journalist Jamal Khashoggi) in the Saudi embassy in Turkey. But as of yesterday Joe Biden said that he will not be brought to justice for that crime and that he now has immunity. Why is that? It’s because of oil money and influence that Salman possesses. The Rich, wealthy and powerful can violate human rights and decency with impunity.

    Morality, human Rights come second to money making and we are being encouraged to turn a blind eye by some just because we ourselves are not perfect. “There is nothing to see here guys, Qatar has invested massively in the UK economy, so we have to pussyfoot around them, can’t anger them as they are our daddy.”

    We as Arsenal fans have to be greatful that “FLY EMIRATES is our main sponsor together with “EMIRATES STDIUM, we can’t criticise their human Rights violations or the bosses and some fans would attack you as being WOKE..

    Man what a depressing money and power oriented system that we live in.

    1. Goonster With the single exception on your comment about WOKE and about what it really is and really is not, I salute you for a magnificent, profoundly true and much needed post!

      It is commonly misquoted when folk say “Money is the root of all evil!
      What that ORIGINAL phrase said , correctly, was “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil”!

      I sum that up when I commonly write”GROSS GREED IS EVIL!!

      A prime example being ALL Prem player salaries, which are monstrously excessive, harmful and deeply obscene.

      1. @jon
        The term “WOKE” has been used by many Right wingers. Any time someone says “We should treat each other with dignity or respect regardless of race, religion, political views, sexuality etc you are then labelled as Woke.

        And when you ask those people what they mean by the term Woke you get completely different definitions of the same term.
        But because it’s the trending word on the Right today everyone just throws it about. Alex Jones was causing so much hurt to those parents that lost their little kids in these normal School mass shootings. He would goad then saying how Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was just a Left wing hoax paid for by jews etc. Trump kept saying that the US election was stolen and rigged from him etc. got people to riots at the US capitol where a few people died.
        Tucker carlson and the Right keep pushing this anti immigrant propaganda labelling illegal border crossers as dirty invaders etc. Recently in Buffalo New York a brainwashed youth walked in a supermarket where mostly black people shot and started shooting, killed more than 8 people if I am correct. His manifesto referenced Tucker Carlsons propaganda spills..

        Religious people in the US want to enact biblical laws into to US government, these would favour Christianity while other religions would be suppressed. Peoples individual rights would be tramped in favour of fundamentalist evangelical Christian thinking.

        But pointing out stuff like that people are labelled as WOKE and against Free Speech..

        1. Goonster is is undeniable fact that many who describe THEMSELVES as woke( not the opinion of others but of THEMSELVES) are fiercely anti liberal and DO, despite what you contend, try to prevent those with opinions they do not approve , from having platforms to air their views.

          As such, that part of wokism IS illiberal and seeks to deny free speech to all. As a true liberal thinker, I can NEVER accept a movement which denies the right of free speech(when it IS legal speech), to all.

          On THAT point we fundamentally differ, but I still much like all the rest of your earlier two posts and much of your above post, esp about the bible belt and Trumpism in USA .

          Woke is simply a word but it is what it MEANS in practise, that is at the heart of the matter.

          1. @Jon
            I am also for Free Speech. I can’t stand the snowflakes who try to be sensitive about every little thing that they find offensive. They get on my nerves too. Trigger warning, Safe spaces, etc.. Find it cringy.

            What I also find cringeworthy is the excessive use of the term WOKE. It seems to be the “IN” shiny word today. The Right and those that a center / lean Right and libertarian have latched on to it. I have asked many people that use that word to explain to me what it means to them and I always get completely different definitions from each individual. The terms WOKE might mean one thing to you but them might mean something completely different to another person that also uses it excessively..

            I will ask you Jon. Is or should Free Speech absolute? Same as Freedom. Is there or should there be Absolute Freedom?
            Or these things have to be regulated to a point?

            For Example Alex Jones of Info-wars using his Freedom of speech for years to make money by harassing and goading grieving parents that lost their babies / toddlers, young kids during that Sandy Hook elementary school mass shooting in the US. He was using his free speech and that free speech this year has led to him being found guilty in court of law ordered to may £100’s of millions in damages to these families. Do you think the courts became WOKE against Alex Jones and Info Wars for forcing him to pay a settlement to those families? After all he was just exercising his Free Speech?

            What about White Nationalists making it a habit to find Black / Jewish people and letting rip with their Anti semitism, racist slurs etc?

            Or bullies in school targeting the vulnerable kids and going off them.

            Or a husband / Wife / boyfriend / girlfriend in a relationship using their Free Speech to absolutely mentally and psychologically degrade their partner everyday leading to low self confidence, low self esteem and psychological issues.

            What about a father and mother using their Free Speech to verbally abuse or mistreat their children?

            Where does Free Speech start or End?

            Where does Freedom Start or End?

            Just trying to pick your brain. My brain is very nuanced and thinks too deep or too much. 🙃

            1. QWell thaks for asking. I suppose I OUGHT TO BE FLATTERED THAT MY THOUGHTS SEEM TO BE SO IMPORTANT TO YOU.
              I have spent much of my adult life standing for the right of free speech for all opinions. BUT, there have to be limits and hate speech, including racism, sexual deviency. acts that harm minors and other damaging matters, need to be outlawed.
              No human has, nor can ever expect, in a civilised society, to have complete freedom. We SHOULD HAVE AS MUCH FREEDOM AS WE CAN , WITH THE IMPORTANT CAVEAT THAT NOTHING WE SAY IS EVER ALLOWED TO ACTIVELY HARM OTHERS.

              I do believe in a right to offend and many people,who self describe as woke, have made being personally offended into an art form and that itself is damaging to society.

              I am against the movement that is commony understood as being woke.

              Wokism is anti liberal or illiberal. I stand for liberality, which means at its core , freedom of the individual from those who try to prevent free speech.

              But there HAS to be a line which no person should cross. That is simple decency and intelligent folk know very easily where that line is that we all should not cross. We do NOT need anti freedom woke warriors drawing that line for us.

              1. Interesting conversation – for what it’s worth (3 days later) I completely agree with almost everything you wrote here. One thing I’d add though, is that while there are lines that a person *should* not cross for the sake of decency and decorum, that line is entirely different from the line that should be imposed by law. The decency line is the one that everyone should have for their own sake, as much as anyone else’s, and to enable useful, enjoyable or otherwise meaningful dialogues, the legal line should be set far higher, at the point where a person’s words are directly attributable to violence or other harm to another. Absolutely anything else (including awful things like racism) should be untouchable by law, and they’re not.

  9. Dont care wont be watching anyway. This must be The most disgraceful sporting event of this century. A football-agnostic nation hosting the biggest footballing event in the world yet still has to pay local fans to attend matches? Bribing your opponent to throw away the game ’cause youre trash? Imposing religious beliefs on a SPORTING EVENT like it’s some ******** pilgrimage???? this is bat**** crazy! fans should demand their freedoms or no football goes on SIMPLE. See nobody armtwisted these fundamentalists into hosting this event. There were other nations, better nations I must say that were bidding to host the world cup yet were somehow swatted away. Qatar KNEW what it means to host a ******* world cup. FFS this is not a religious pilgrimage If you cant stand alcohol, if you cant stomach personal freedoms then stick to whatever you do in your ******* enclave leave the rest of football world alone.

  10. I find it amusing that so much noise is being made about the human rights record of Qatar as world cup hosts when thus same tournament was hosted by a Russia with as bad human rights record just four years ago.
    Where was the sanctimony back then?

    1. But we were attacking Russia too. Just go back and read comments about that tournament.
      But the same people were shouting “But but the Western countries are hypocrites. Always attacking and antagonising Putin because he is a very Strong leader that is against the Liberal Woke West..

      Just try to question any dictatorial power that is very oppressive to its citizens and you will always have the low information people saying “But but what about this and that.”..

  11. My view about Qatar is a deeply moral and life principle based one. I shunned the last WC in Russia, as that evilly governed country was corruptly awarded it by corrupt FIFA.

    I also called out corrupt FIFA many years ago ,both on JA and on other non football forums. I was and am determined to also shun this ludicrous WC and – other than DANS excellent piece, which sums up the matter so well and correctly – I was resolved not to post on any JA piece about this evil WC.


    I regularly speak out and actively get involved in many anti human rights situations , both in sport and in life, esp in the evil British legal and penal system, that has, FOREVER denied justice to those who are poor, disadvantaged or uneducated.

    I totally agree with DANS view that we are ALL hypocrites and I HAVE MANY TIMES SAID PRECISELY THAT ON THIS VERY FORUM.

    IMO, hypocrisy is so embedded in our common human condition – all of us- that to deny it applies to us all would be a gross lie. It certainly applies to me and I freely admit it.

    But hypocrisy , though hardly a desirable quality, is so common, that to castigate others for being hypocrites seems to my mind, yet another example of it in action, by so doing.
    I much believe that all we humans need to accept that we are born with imperfections and we cannot sensibly deny that truth. IF WE WERE APPLIANCES, RATHER THAN HUMANS, WE WOULD BE SENT BACK TO THE FACTORY FOR MODIFICATIONS.

    But, we are also- apart from a tiny percentage, globally- essentially GOOD people whose hearts are fullof goodness, despite out individual human foibles and quirks. THAT TINY PERCENTAGE INCLUDES BAD PEOPLE AND THOSE WHO MAKE KEY DECISIONS IN FIFA AND UEFA TOO. Money and the GREED for obscene amounts of it is a great force that leads otherwise decent people toward behaving badly, in its pursuit. Examples include Beckham and G Neville sadly.

    Neither are bad people at all but both are morally wrong to have taken the Qatari “shilling” and Neville for one is well aware of his mistake, if you are a watcher of certain TV progs. I believe he will, in time, come to regret his mistake greatly

    We are too slow to forgive, too quick to criticise and I am among the worst, where criticism is concerned. I freely admit that and have to constantly work on myself to prevent it getting worse!

    A sense of real human perspective is a great aid though and so I post this sort of thing for others and myself to reflect upon.

    1. @Jon Fox
      On this issue we agree.
      That is why you and me call out people that try to okay rich, spoilt and overly pampered individuals (sports personalities, celebrities, wealthy business people, wealthy nations etc) if they keep using their privileged statuses to cause myahem and immorality.

      We don’t worship cult heroes. If you are wrong I will call you out and I expect you to do the same against me. Then we can debate it and come to a better understanding.

  12. How patronising of Infantino to say we can survive 3 hours without a beer whilst allowing beer in the VIP zones. Its not about the beer, its the hypocrisy. I hope this is the catalyst for fundamental change at FIFA. We need enough honest national associations to come together and bring FIFA down. FIFA is nothing without the associations.

  13. Interesting article, thank you.
    It could also be interesting with a debate on, what Englands stance should be on playing Iran?

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