Tuesday , 31 January 2023
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Big Bucks lavished at FIFA dwarf payouts in North American pro sports

Budweiser didn't stand a chance

If you wonder why FIFA didn’t put up much of  a fuss over the last minute banning of beer at the World Cup Games in Qatar, look no further than the balance sheet. Bloomberg is reporting that FIFA, the body that governs the World Cup, has earned $7.5 Billion in various sponsorship deals since the games were awarded to Qatar. Compare that to the– puny by comparison, $75 Million paid by InBev, the makers of Budweiser beer for its sponsorship package.

The awarding of the games to Qatar, has been beset with corruption charges. There were allegations that FIFA reps from several voting countries were paid millions in bribes to award the games to the tiny Gulf nation. The Time sof London reported that QATAR paid FIFA $880 Million just before it was awarded the 2022 games. Qatar has denied these allegations. What is undeniable is that many senior FIFA officials over the years have been found guilty of various forms of personal corruption.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz estimates Qatar has invested $250 Billion in hotels. High-speed rail, and stadiums (4 of which will be torn down after the games) to be showcased on the international stage. The investment has done nothing to stem the criticism of Qatar for its human rights abuses, especially towards LGBTQ people, and for its mistreatment of the migrant workers who built most of the World Cup infrastructure.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino

The criticism led to a bizarre news conference by FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s who kicked off the meeting with an explosive hour-long monologue that human rights groups described it as “crass” and an “insult” to migrant workers.

“We are taught many lessons from Europeans, from the Western world,” Infantino said, referring to criticisms of Qatar’s human rights record.

“What we Europeans have been doing for the last 3,000 years, we should be apologizing for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons.”

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