It was and will be the least surprising headline ‘scoop’ of the year, Qatar bribed officials to win their bid for the 2022 World Cup. The only surprising part of the tale being that such a vast paper trail exists of the money. I always thought bribes are supposed to be discreet. Isn’t this how the right to host sports events are won? When an undemocratic country are bidding, the potential for interference in the process is both too tempting and too easy for it not to degenerate into grubby handshakes and proverbial brown paper envelopes.
CNN do a round up of three protests in three countries, explaining who’s protesting, what they want, when it began and the latest news from each of the political flashpoints.
There is some irony in this post, but trying to round up three very complex crisis in three very different countries, and break them down into the same categories is a very simplistic view to take. I understand that similar to this post they’re intending to give some base knowledge of the events in each country, however what they’ve ended up giving is a misinformed breakdown; still describing what’s going on in the Ukraine as a “protest” despite it’s escalation in something a lot larger, giving the impression in Venezuela of an Arab Spring type situation when in reality it’s a democratically elected leader running a politically divided country not a medieval despot and Thailand where large scale protests, accompanied by coups, have been ongoing on and off for over a decade. Not to mention that they also forgot to include the protests ongoing in Bosnia.
Another International Football tournament is upon us, and while in Ireland this competition has been fervently anticipated (owing to the rarity of us actually qualifying for something) across Europe there seems to be more of an ambivalent attitude towards this particular European Championship. England go into the tournament under a cloud of low morale and even lower expectations, France is still suffering the effects of the hangover from their humiliation in South Africa two years ago with a squad still unloved by many French people. For Spain’s supporters and players motivation is the problem as they have it all already. Italy’s woes are such that their coach accepted that a withdrawal from the tournament might be a blessing. Ukrainian media outlets didn’t see fit to send even one of their own reporters to their nation’s training camp in Austria and they are one of the co-hosts. Having half the tournament in Ukraine given it’s logistical issues as well as fears over crowd trouble hasn’t helped spread the Euro 2012 fever. This tournament then, outside of our own Isle, is one of the least hyped or anticipated of the modern era.