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Review of the Qatar World Cup in Great Britain – Washing the game with Beckham and Robbie Williams

PR Tour to Qatar – David Beckham in Doha (DOHA FORUM / AMMAR ABD RABBO)

In Great Britain, criticism is piling up from various quarters about the World Cup being held in Qatar. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is furious that the Premier League season has been interrupted by the winter World Cup. It wasn’t a problem until three weeks before the World Cup. Tired soldiers would hurt themselves now, which was a disaster, but he couldn’t change that.

The Qatar World Cup is a political issue – even in Great Britain

According to surveys, six out of ten Britons criticize the World Cup in Qatar because of human rights violations related to punishments for homosexuality and the enslavement of workers. So, which politicians should travel to the games is controversial. Secretary of State James cleverly ran into trouble when he insisted that gay World Cup spectators must respect the culture of the host country. Wives and girlfriends of players were advised to dress appropriately and not drink alcohol in public.

Qatar’s World Cup ambassador Khaled Salman’s claims that homosexuality is a mental health problem, shown in a German ZDF documentary, have been widely discussed in the British media in recent days.

Helen Hardy, founder of non-binary football club Manchester Laces, responded calmly. This is a shame, but once again makes clear where Qatar stands in terms of LGBTQ+ rights.

Icons like David Beckham, Gary Neville and Robbie Williams in the review

Celebrities attending or working as commentators at the World Cup in Qatar are also criticized in Great Britain. Gay-loving pop star Robbie Williams has sparked fan outrage after it was announced he would sing at the World Cup. Former international David Beckham reportedly received £150million to promote himself as the face of the competition in happy little films.

And former Manchester star Gary Neville has hired himself as a pundit for Qatar state broadcaster beIN SPORTS. Neville lashed out at the BBC quiz show and tried to defend himself: “Either you shut up and stay at home. Or solve the problems on the spot, that’s my motto.”

Captain Kane and Bale with the “One Love” armband

Satirist Ian Hyslop replied that the UK could deal with human rights abuses and not have to accept money from Qatar. Finally, Hyslop quipped about what such an important match report would look like: “Football World Cup has started in this poor country… – Oh, someone kicks the ball. The number of migrant workers killed is shocking… – Oh, a goal has been scored.”

Harry Kane and Gareth Bale, captains of the England and Welsh national teams, like captains of other European teams, like to appear in “One Love” armbands demanding tolerance with rainbow hearts if they doubt against the FIFA ban. Critics talk about alibi operations and game washing.