Time for me to declare an interest. I’ve been to Qatar. In a past life as the staff writer of the UK’s best-selling football magazine FourFourTwo, I arranged a cover interview with Xavi, recently appointed Barcelona manager and back then winding down his playing days with Al-Sadd in Doha. I asked him about Qatar’s World Cup preparations and he gave exactly the answer you’d expect him to – standards are improving, he was impressed with the ambitious plans and never saw anything untoward. Worried about blowing a limited budget on flying me and a photographer to Qatar at not an insignificant expense, I didn’t press him further.
Effectively, I’m also complicit. I, too, was silent when I had a voice. It’s something I will forever regret. Revel in the football, enjoy the biggest sporting event in the world – sorry, NFL fans – but don’t forget the costs at the heart of it. Now is the time to make a difference. Football has the power to unite and now is the time for it to act and make yourself heard? .
Football has the power to unite and now is the time for it to act – make yourself heard.