Host Tom Clarke welcomed Duncan Roberts into the studio on Monday morning for the regular Delano’s Top of the Week slot on the Ara City Radio breakfast show.
Their conversation focused on the numerous controversies surrounding the Fifa World Cup, which kicks off in Qatar on 20 November.
The awarding of the 2022 Word Cup to Qatar back in 2010 was rife with corruption--though there is no indication of any bribery from Qatar itself. But listeners may have gotten an idea of what sort of people Duncan and Tom were talking about when they pointed out that 16 of the 22 voting members of the Fifa executive committee that handed the World Cup to Qatar have since been implicated in or investigated over alleged corruption or bad practice--though not all of them in relation to the awarding of the World Cup.
But that is not all. There have consistently been reports of the terrible conditions to which migrants drafted by Qatar from Africa and the far east to build stadia and infrastructure were submitted. That is on top of the concerns LGBTQ+ fans have expressed about going to Qatar to support their team, given the outlawing of homosexuality in the country. Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) even got involved last week when he reacted to a statement from former Qatari player (and World Cup “ambassador”) Khalid Salman who described homosexuality as “mental damage.” “Football should unite people and not divide them,” Bettel said.
But Fifa seems happy to maintain its sportwashing reputation, with the world football federation president Gianni Infantino just last week writing to national associations asking them to “focus on the football” and saying critics were “handing out moral lessons to the rest of the world.”
The fact that the tournament takes place in late autumn rather than its traditional summer slot, because of the nature of Qatar’s climate, has also wreaked havoc with Europe’s football schedule and means players have had less time to prepare for the World Cup. Money is at the root of the game.
Tips for the week
As usual, the Top of the Week slot also provides listeners with some “what’s on” tips for the coming week. This week Duncan picked the Rainy Days festival of contemporary music at the Philharmonie, which features a rich and varied programme including several premieres and new works. Other suggestions included London based duo Kit Sebastian at Rotondes and the Red Cross Bazaar on the Glacis next weekend.
Duncan’s music pick for this week was Diamond Light by New York based artist Breanna Barbara, from her brand-new album Nothin’ But Time.
Tune in again next week Monday around 8.30am on Ara City Radio (87.8 - 102.9 -105.2 FM) or listen to the podcast on Delano.lu.