Tag Archives: Qatar

‘Sports integrity’: The surreptious Saudi campaign to steal the World Cup away from Qatar

Currently, a battle is going on between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, one that is affecting international football as well. There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia wants to take the World Cup away from Qatar in 2022. The “Foundation for Sports Integrity” was launched in a lavish setting in London in May with buzz words about “transparency” and “corruption” that made several participants ask about the source of the money. Two of them were Andreas Selliaas and Jan Jensen*, who have tried to track the secret backers of the new initiative. Jim Waterson of the Guardian also weighs in with additional facts. Interestingly, with regard to awarding the FIFA World Cup 2026, which was announced later in Moscow in July, Saudi Arabia backed the winning, so-called “United” bid of the United States, Canada and Mexico, while Qatar backed the Morocco bid.

Panel discussion at the FFSI conference | Andreas Selliaas

(London, Updated 28 June) – The Foundation for Sports Integrity (FFSI) was launched at the fashionable Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square in London on 31 May. The founder of the FFSI is Jaimie Fuller, the Chairman of SKINS, one of the persons behind the initiative New FIFA Now and a familiar face to those attending Play the Game conferences.
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When the poor sponsor the rich: Rwanda and Arsenal FC

Filip Reyntjens* tells how one of the world’s poorest countries came to sponsor one of the Britain’s richest soccer teams

Arsenal FC’s new sponsor is Rwanda. Twitter/@Arsenal

Rwanda keeps surprising. Recently the Rwandan Development Board signed a sleeve sponsoring deal with London Premier League club, Arsenal. Over a three-year period, the 200 sq centimetre ad “Visit Rwanda” will cost the country USD$39 million. Continue reading

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Olympics: State-organized talent theft and mercantilism

Qatar's Marko Bagaric, left, tries to score past France's Ludovic Fabregas during the men's preliminary handball match between France and Qatar at the 2016 Summer Olympics on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro | Ben Curtis/AP

Qatar’s Marko Bagaric from Bulgaria, left, tries to score past France’s Ludovic Fabregas during the men’s preliminary handball match between France and Qatar at the 2016 Summer Olympics on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro | Ben Curtis/AP

By TONY SEED 
August 10, updated August 19, 2016

Of the some 11,000 athletes competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, an unknown number are competing for medal-hungry countries that are not their birth nation. At least 23 of Qatar’s 39 member team at Rio were born outside of Qatar and transplanted – recruited in many cases with the offer of financial inducements. The Canadian Olympic team also features a number of plastic or transfer athletes recruited through the “Own The Podium” program of private big capital for support and funding on the basis that they are “winners” and “America’s best who happen to have some kind of Canadian connection.” Such developments, all in the name of high ideals, should be of concern to Canadians.

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Why the United States is targeting FIFA

SSoccer Corporatizationystemic corruption is quite common among the world’s political, financial, and economic power-brokers. Every other political, financial, and economic entity in the US is entangled in some form of systemic corruption, including professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); yet the US has not pursued violators from those entities. Above all, what is suspicious about the US intervention into FIFA politics is that whenever the US intervenes internationally, claiming to be concerned about democracy, good governance, and/or human rights, that intervention proves to be duplicitous. Professor GEORGE WRIGHT* on the US-dictated Anglo-American/UEFA alliance. Continue reading

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Questions about Qatar’s World Cup hosting

By JAMES M DORSEY*
Photo: seanknoflick/Flickr

Photo: seanknoflick/Flickr

A planned anti-Qatari protest ahead of a match between Chelsea and Manchester United, the first major fan demonstration against the 2022 World Cup host, and the imminent publication of a Sunday Times book documenting Qatari political interference in world soccer body FIFA’s 2011 presidential election that returned Sepp Blatter to office at the behest of the FIFA president casts a shadow over next month’s FIFA election and is likely to renew debate about the integrity of the Qatari bid.

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Construction giant Vinci accused of practising ‘modern slavery’ in World Cup 2022 host Qatar

Workers of QDVC (Qatari Diar/VINCI Construction Grands Projets), the Qatari branch of French construction giant Vinci, prepare cement at a in the capital Doha on March 24, 2015 after Vinci Construction denied claims of using forced labour on building projects in Qatar.

By John Leicester, Associated Press

(March 24) PARIS — Accusing it of practising “modern slavery,” a French campaign group has filed a legal complaint against construction giant Vinci for grave mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar, the host country of the 2022 World Cup.

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Qatar hires ‘$8 fake fans’ to fill empty stadiums

Jassim Bin Hamad stadium in Doha, Qatar (Reuters/Fadi Al-Assaad)

Jassim Bin Hamad stadium in Doha, Qatar | Reuters/Fadi Al-Assaad

Migrant workers in Qatar get one dollar an hour for sitting in the stadiums and pretending to have fun, to applaud and to do the wave, AP reports. Sometimes they even were asked to dress like Qataris in white robes and head-scarves.

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