A leading sports chaplain believes that the winners of the World Cup in Qatar will be ‘stained’ for years in the future.
The competition has been dogged by controversy since it was awarded the tournament through accusations of bribery and corruption. Moreover, a Guardian investigation said more than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since 2010.
Sports chaplain and Universe columnist Fr. Vlad Felzmann believes the choice of Qatar as World Cup host is dubious.
“Without bribery, I cannot imagine how Qatar got the FIFA contract,” he told the Universe. “Whoever wins the Cup will have that title stained for years to come. Mixing ethics, politics and sport gives journalists much to write about.”
Supporters have also reacted negatively to a lack of alcohol and being told not to be “visibly under the influence of alcohol” or be shirtless at games. Fr. Vlad said that the cultural differences should make people think about Western standards.
“The differences of what is fine in time and place make the world entertaining,” he said. “USA Prohibition lasted from 1920 until 1933. Bathing topless is ok in the south of France but not allowed in The Serpentine. Is the UK backward?”
England’s World Cup campaign got off to a winning start in a 6-2 thrashing of Iran at Khalifa International Stadium, Doha. Using the social media moniker ‘God’s Child’, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka pointed to the sky in an acknowledgement of his faith in God, as he scored two goals in a man of the match performance.
He told GQ magazine that a Bible given to him by his father is an essential life item he could not live without. Saka is among a group of England players who display their faith publicly, regularly posting Christian quotes on social media such as ‘God is great’, ‘The Lord is my strength’ and ‘God’s plan.’