Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday November 24, 2022
How to talk about the World Cup without kicking it off
We are now two days into the most complicated World Cup in living memory. Held at the wrong time of year, in a country drenched in human rights abuses, as a result of widespread corruption, the tournament could very well be overwhelmed by controversy. At the same time, however, it’s the World Cup. Everyone loves the World Cup. So the question is this: exactly how excited are you allowed to be?
The answer is that it depends on who you’re talking to. As a good and normal human being, your role in life is to socially triangulate with those around you, and this means adjusting your excitement levels according to who you happen to be with. Below are the four types of people you will encounter between now and the World Cup final on December 18, and a quick guide on what to say to them.
Your socially conscious friend here knows all about Qatar’s terrible record when it comes to migrant worker deaths and LGBT rights, and the thick vein of corruption running through Fifa. Logically you should not be excited about the World Cup at all around this friend. That said, they are a bit of a buzzkill and you do need to teach them to lighten up.
Do say: “The entire planet should boycott the World Cup this year.”
Don’t say: “Have you seen the mascot, though? So cute!”
Do say: “This World Cup was the result of widespread bribery and corruption on an unprecedented scale.”
Don’t say: “Hey, have you seen my new car? The Qatari government bought it for me.”
Do say: “Fifa is no longer fit for purpose and should be disbanded.”
Don’t say: “But it is fun when someone scores a goal, though, isn’t it?”
Do say: “In a way, the World Cup has helped to amplify Qatar’s human rights abuses in a manner that wouldn’t have happened if they were denied the bid.”
Don’t say: “Hey, they should hold the next one in North Korea.”
Do say: “I am not going to watch a second of the World Cup.”
Don’t say: “Unless England get to the quarter-finals, obvs.” (Continued: The Times (of London))