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  • Helz

And so it begins... World Cup 2022

Updated: Nov 26, 2022

The world cup is here and it wasn’t even a heartbeat before the fuckery began! So. Much. Fuckery.

Where to even begin…

Here’s the thing, if I was having a party and I was inviting everyone on my street but I knew there were a gang of people on my street I didn’t fuck with for whatever reason i.e. Karen puts raisins in her potato salad, Dave lets his dog shit on the pavement outside my house, Karim is bare noisy.. whatever the reason, I don’t fuck with them and their shit, I don’t want them jammin in my yard. I just wouldn’t invite them. I wouldn’t invite them knowing that Karim was gonna be bare loud, Karen was gonna bring her raisin potato salad and Dave was most likely gonna turn up with his shitty arsed dog. Qatar like every other nation knows what comes with a World Cup. They know it’s open to all so if you don’t want them in your yard don’t invite them. Period. By putting their name in the hat to host, they indirectly agreed to opening their house up for EVERYONE not just those THEY wanted. You can’t have their money but not them, it’s kind of a package deal.

Now, having said that a lot of people - especially in the UK - feel so entitled that they think they can roll up anywhere and make demands. That coloniser mindset is ever present. Our way is the right way and anything else is uncivilised. It’s like when you see English speaking people on holiday in a non-English speaking country and they start complaining that their waiter can’t understand them when they speak to them in English. If you didn’t assume you were the centre of the universe, you might have taken five minutes to learn how to order a beer in Portugese, Steve. So, let’s go back to our party scenario; if I’m having a party and someone rocked up and started rearranging my furniture and redecorating I’d be pissed. My house, my decor, my rules. Are people entitled to their opinion that they don’t like the way I keep my house? Absolutely. Is that my problem? Nope. And on we go.

Does this mean I agree with Qatar’s stance in relation to human rights? Of course not. Far from it but I do wholeheartedly believe that people from other countries - especially the West with all their skeletons - should not be telling the Qatari’s they’re this and that, especially when they are guests. If you don’t like their laws or what they do in their own country don’t fuck with them. Simples. No one is forcing you to go there. No one is forcing you to interact with them. They’re not imposing their laws on you. They’re just out in Qatar living their Qatari lives.

If anyone is at fault it’s FIFA. FIFA knew Qatar’s human rights record. They were well aware of the laws of the land. They knew the repercussions of holding the World Cup there, and they did it anyway. If anything FIFA doesn’t rate ANYONE and has made that abundantly clear. Capitalism wins. They told people they could wear their rainbow hats and flag etc... They were wrong. They could have allowed the armband, but they backtracked.

Gianni Infantino saying the West are in no position to criticise is probably the only thing he got right in his bizarre monologue. It’s completely true the West’s human rights record - both currently and historically - leaves A LOT to be desired. However, as the President of an organisation that claims to be inclusive he should acknowledge that a decision was made to exclude certain communities by default when Qatar was selected as the host nation and by pointing out that no one is perfect does not make it okay. Also comparing your childhood bullying to human rights violations that affect thousands around the world is as relevant as a fart in the wind and straight up offensive. By choosing Qatar as the host nation, another target was put on the back of marginalised communities who already exist with targets on their back. FIFA state in their values they are an organisation that aim to “protect human rights” and “fight against racism and other forms of discrimination”. There is also chat about ‘accountability’, ‘integrity’, ‘solidarity’, ‘courage’ and a load of other nouns that coming from them have all the authenticity of Nicki Minaj’s arse. It’s laughable really. The words and the actions do not align in the slightest.

FIFA has a duty of care to fans and they put a price on that duty of care. The price was met so they simply don’t care. This is also reflected in their refusal to address compensation requests by the families of migrant workers who lost their lives building the new stadiums. FIFA don’t care. It’s that plain and simple.

Also Infantino saying 'I feel Qatari, I feel African, I feel gay, I feel disabled' again means fuck all and couldn’t be more tone deaf. Honestly I was waiting for him to drop some Shania bars and say “Man, I feel like a woman” but I guess even he doesn’t want to go so far as to compromise his male privilege. Feelings won’t get you arrested, assaulted, put in jail or put to death. I often feel cold and when I do I put on a jumper and I’m not feeling cold anymore. What’s your point Gianni? Qatari people ARE Qatari. African people ARE African. Gay people ARE gay. Disabled people ARE disabled. Also, they aren't all mutually exclusive. Tomorrow when Gianni Infantino isn’t feeling Qatari, African, gay or disabled anymore because it’s a tad inconvenient, guess what? The people that are those things will still be those things and still have to exist in those spaces. They don’t have the privilege of feeling it for promotional purposes at a press conference. That’s their life. That’s our life. That’s my life.

I’ve really seen a madness on social media the last few days, with people accusing the pundits and commentators and even fans of hypocrisy for going out there. I’ve seen people accusing the likes of Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alex Scott et al for being hypocrites and taking the bag. Yes they could have reported from a studio in the UK (like the UK is without fault.. lol) but their jobs as broadcasters and sports journalists is to go wherever the story is. As for taking the money, why the fuck should they work for free? Would you go to work tomorrow and tell your boss they don’t have to pay you a wage? And the thing is unless the keyboard warriors making these comments are self employed, carry out ethical practices within their employment, farm their own foods, wear only pre-loved clothing etc they too are guilty of hypocrisy. EVERYONE is guilty of hypocrisy. Fact is the keyboard warriors are probably sitting there in their Primark tracksuit (made for 5p somewhere in Asia) jumping on the latest hype-train while waiting for their Deliveroo (where their driver has to work about 4hrs to make £20) It’s all well and good for us to sit in our glass houses tossing stones but fact is we’re all guilty of hypocrisy on some level.

Quick game: Hold out one hand. Each time the answer is yes put down a finger. Do you shop/have you ever shopped in Primark/H&M/Shein/any fast fashion outlet? Have you ever bought from or used products from Amazon/Apple/Google? Do you buy from Starbucks? Do you drive a car? Have you ever been on a plane? Do you eat meat? Do you pay your taxes? Do you REALLY pay your taxes... like all of them (looking at you freelancers lol)? If you've been honest, at least one of your fingers is down. Apple, Amazon, Google and Starbucks avoid paying taxes. The fast fashion industry often employs children, has their workers working in horrific conditions and severely under pays them. Petrol and Diesel cars and plane travel contribute to climate change. Eating meat contributes to deforestation and in turn climate change. All these things have a domino effect that potentially infringe on people's human rights directly or indirectly. Are we really in any position to point out other peoples hypocrisy?

I suppose as a black woman who may or may not identify as part of the LGBT community but has previously been in a same sex relationship, Alex Scott was once again an easy target for trolls. Arguably I would say she’s probably the most qualified to jump in on this debate based on her own life experiences but instead got battered online by people claiming she’s a hypocrite for going out there, for ‘taking the money’ and whatever else they want to blame her for this week. I mean from what I saw they stopped just shy of complaining about her very existence. Or maybe I just stopped reading before I got to that. I definitely haven't seen the male pundits gunned this hard which is ironic considering part of the argument surrounding Qatar was their attitude towards women and the one woman pundit on a panel of men is the one the British public come for. Awkward. Surely a woman who has actually been in a same sex relationship, going over there is a greater protest than one sitting her arse in a studio. It's definitely more of a protest than a 280 character rant @'ing people you don't know. There is more bravery in occupying a space that isn’t intended for you or where you’re unwelcome - something Alex is not a stranger to - than just sitting back in the comfort zone and pointing fingers about how appalling brown countries are when it comes to human rights. Alex could have stayed at home and got the bag, it would certainly have the safer option but no doubt people would complain about her not being out there and taking the easy option blah blah blah. It’s a lose lose. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Also, she works for the BBC, trust me this ‘bag’ they’re all talking about ain’t as much as they think. Thinking she’s living lavish and I bet they got them all out there self catering. The only people really getting the bag is FIFA.

If people are so pissed about human rights and so pressed about Alex Scott doing her job or having a holiday in Dubai once upon a time, I don’t want to hear any of these people talking about their lovely Caribbean holiday in Jamaica, or St Lucia or Barbados… all of which homosexuality is still illegal and the death penalty in use. Are they gonna ban you from wearing a rainbow hat? Nah, probably not. Will they refer to you as something derogatory if you wear one or walk down the road affectionately with your same-sex partner? Psssh Yes, more than likely. Mate there are bare tunes, particularly in dancehall, that are peppered with homophobia and everyone up in the rave shakin out like it’s nothin. Do you really think they’re gonna feel some type of way about calling you names in the street? Never that. There's been a level of normalisation. Of course now, in 2022 people have become much more tolerant and accepting but within the older generations, that homophobia around the islands still runs deep. Keyboard warriors preaching hypocrisy and human rights will do well to remember this before they start stunting on the gram with selfies under waterfalls and sun kissed beaches, coming back with braids with little clacking beads talking about everything “irie mon” and captions about living your best life… and never actually leaving resort. Stop it.

Many of the US states still have the death penalty. Many states in the US have a questionable stance when it comes to rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Keyboard warriors, next time you’re at Disney World loving off Mickey and his friends just remember Florida still has the death penalty. Ron DeSantis approved legislation that restricts schools from teaching students about sexual orientation and gender issues, with teachers opening themselves up to lawsuits should they fail to comply. And since we’re on holiday with Mickey and his mates, are we going to bypass the fact that the Disney corporation has a terrible track record when it comes to the treatment of their park employees? True true we want to enjoy our holiday without confronting these uncomfortable and inconvenient truths. Or do we just let them slide because on the whole they’re not brown people doing these things so you don’t consider all the above human rights violations? Hmm. FYI It doesn’t stop at Florida, that is just the tip of the iceberg. The Titanic sinking sized iceberg. Where are we at on a woman's right to choose what she does with her own body? And, are the children being detained in ICE detention centres, separated from their parents, allowed to be reunited with their parents yet or nah?

The West is not in any position to pass judgement but two wrongs have never made a right. An eye for an eye just leaves everyone blind. Saying one is just as bad as the other does not fix the issue.

What I find particularly interesting is all these so called football fans who have suddenly woken up to the mistreatment of LGBTQ+ football fans… erm… where were you all when Justin Fashanu was kicking ball? When he was getting both racial and homophobic abuse were you writing letters (it was letters back then) to whoever it might have concerned to complain about the abuse Fash was getting? Did you write him or his club letters of support?? Nah, you stayed silent but get outraged by one black woman going out to Qatar to do her job. Calling it hypocrisy, box ticking, virtue signalling or whatever else bigots fronting as liberals with too much time on their hands want to call progress. The world is just fine without your 280 characters of vitriol babes.

I 100% stand with the LGBTQ+ community. I will always 100% fight for and alongside the LGBTQ+ community. Always have, always will. I don’t think what’s going on in Qatar and other countries is right but I also think the blame and name calling in uncalled for and outrage misplaced. FIFA orchestrated this. Like I said, everyone is guilty of hypocrisy on some level if you just scratch the surface. People would do well to remember this before coming for Scottie, Lineker, Shearer, Ferdinand and all those out there just DOING THEIR JOB.

And don’t even get me started on the England win. Four goal scorers, three were black and the majority of press rolled with the Jack Grealish celebration photo… And don't tell me "It's because of the little boy". No. You can't tell he's doing the little dance from a photo. They made a choice.

A fountain of fuckery and this is only Day 3!

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