“I had the feeling that this was the one.” — Lionel Messi after winning the World Cup for the first time.
Having watched every one of the 63 matches of the 2022 World Cup tournament, I spent the evening of the final with the Naas Active Retirement Group in the 3 Arena. I did sneak a peek of the match progress during the interval and was delighted to see Argentina 2-0 up. At next check-in, 45 minutes later the score showed as 2-all – what had happened?
Extra time had just finished as we left our seats at the end of the show. Both teams had scored. We joined some other football fans to listen to the penalty shoot-out. Relief – Argentina, the obvious favourites in the 3 Arena, had won.
I read all the post-match reports today, but decided to trawl the replay channels and at least experience the excitement of the highlights. Even though I knew the result, it was till an amazing match of ups and downs where the winning team had to win three times. That’s sport. According to the media today it was one of the best finals in history.
SOME QUOTES from a TOURNAMENT of contradictions:
GROTESQUE WEALTH IS PROPPED UPON ABJECT POVERTY and COMMUNAL RIGHTS ARE VALUED MORE THAN THE INDIVIDUAL
“After the World Cup road works and construction begins again and labour is so poorly valued that the workers have no water, and maybe no pay for months at a time. This is the real Doha”.
“Death is a natural part of life, whether it is at work, whether it is in your sleep,” said Qatar’s chief executive Nasser Al-Khater, when asked about ‘Alex,’ a Filipino national who died while working at the Sealine resort, Saudi Arabia’s training base in Mesaieed.
Everyone is welcome in Qatar,” insists the World Cup Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, “but we are a conservative country and any public display of affection, regardless of orientation, is frowned upon. We simply ask for people to respect our culture.”
Gianni Infantino’s tribute to a tournament that has netted millions for Soccer: “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker.”
On opening night Morgan Freeman asks: “Am I welcome?”
Seven European captains abandoning the One Love armband, designed to support LGBTQ+ rights, for fear of receiving a yellow card, prompted Roy Keane to comment: “The players could have done it for the first game. I think it was a big mistake by both players, they should have stuck to their guns, if that’s what you believe then go with it.”
Roy Keane’s comment about Brazilian celebrations of goals “I don’t mind the first kind of little jig – whatever they’re doing – but they’re still doing it after that, and then the manager getting involved with it.
Hassan Al Thawadi’s, Secretary General at Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy comments on human rights: “We are a relatively conservative culture. In the West the individual’s personal rights always trump, let’s say, the community rights. That’s what is most sacred. But there are other societies, the Arab world being one of them, in the Middle East, it is the communal values, which is fundamentally related to religion, that is of a higher value, of higher importance.”