Posts Tagged ‘FIFA World Cup’

Geneva: the base from where Qatar pursued its World Cup bid

November 11, 2022

With the football World Cup starting soon, Swissinfo published a timely overview of Qatar’s sports washing efforts, led from its hub in Geneva,: Sportswashing the World Cup from Geneva, published on 10 November 2022

Qatar chose Geneva to launch a massive public relations campaign in a bid to secure the World Cup and impose its narrative on sports. From there, the emirate could access FIFA, United Nation institutions, heads of state and diplomats…Perched just a few hundred metres above Geneva’s exclusive Nautique sailing club in the posh Cologny neighbourhood, the sprawling residence of the Qatari ambassador to the United Nations maintains a near-level view across Lake Geneva of the UN’s European headquarters.

The acquisition of the 550-square-metre home set on over two hectares of land came a year before then-FIFA boss Sepp Blatter announced, to the surprise of many, that Qatar had won the bid for the 2022 football World Cup. Zurich-based.

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Advantages of autocracy: The United States and the United Kingdom, which had bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups together with Korea, Japan and Australia, had long been rumoured to be among the favourites. But intense lobbying by Qatar, FIFA’s arguable penchant for supporting authoritarian rule over democracy to get the job done, and hosting in a region where the sport could still grow, all ran in the emirate’s favour. Jérôme Valcke, FIFA’s former secretary-general, admitted in 2013 that “less democracy is sometimes better for organising a World Cup”. He has since been convicted in Switzerland for accepting bribes. Subsequently, investigations in the US and Switzerland culminated in 2015 with the revelation of a massive corruption scandal at FIFA, followed by arrests of high-ranking officials and an end to Blatter’s term.

Despite winning the bid, Qatar’s reputation as a credible and transparent sports host was severely damaged. Its reputation only worsened as the country eagerly embarked on a quest to make the World Cup bid a reality. Reports by human rights groups of abuses and deaths of migrant workers building the infrastructure for the World Cup became a growing liability to the upbeat narrative the country was eager to project. 

Even before the bid, Qatar, aware of its poor international image, looked to ramp up support among sport organisations, heads of state and diplomats. It chose Geneva as a location to lead a vast public relations campaign.

This three-part investigation shows the lengths to which the emirate went to whitewash its reputation, and the role Geneva played in this marketing stunt.:

More Qatar’s Swiss hub for foreign policy This content was published on Nov 10, 2022 In choosing Geneva as a hub to implement its foreign policy, Qatar gained access to NGOs, the UN and FIFA

More ICSS: Sports at the service of state security  This content was published on Nov 10, 2022 From the start, the agenda of the International Centre for Sports Security was tainted by a lack of transparency and links to Qatar.

More Promoting integrity without transparency This content was published on Nov 10, 2022 The Sports Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) is another mitigated Qatari effort to boost its reputation.

See also earlier: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/03/12/if-qatar-has-to-share-world-cup-2022-fifas-ethical-standards-must-apply/

Mary Harvey: her goal is now human rights

December 12, 2018

Episode 24 of Asian Human Rights News in television format

April 3, 2014

The 24th Episode of the Human Rights Asia Weekly Roundup by the AHRC covers the encouraging peace agreement which has been signed in Mindanao, putting an end to a 40-year-old conflict between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine government.

In Qatar, hundreds of migrant workers have died in the slavery-like labour conditions on FIFA World Cup construction projects.

Indonesian, MP candidates for the upcoming elections met with Hong Kong’s domestic helpers to discuss improving protections and rights.

In India, the Supreme Court ordered for a time-bound adjudication of all trials involving legislators within a year. This is the first of a series of reports on court delays and what it means for justice in India.

India is the biggest importer of arms in the world while millions still lack basic health care. AHRC calls for the country to reconsider its priorities.

Voices of Survivors: this week hears from Hechin Haokip who was displaced from her mountain village in Manipur because of the on-going conflict but has managed to get back on her feet and help many vulnerable people in her community through human rights activism.

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