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TO ANALYSE. Freedom, security, image war… Curtain on such a controversial World Cup

The 22nd edition of the World Cup, the most controversial in history, ended this Sunday, with the defeat of the Blues against Argentina. If the challenge of the organization has been taken up by Qatar, this World Cup above ground, marked by numerous scandals and controversies before the competition, will leave a bitter taste.

The most controversial World Cup in history has just drawn the curtain in Qatar. Anyone who has visited the small Emirate, during the 28 days of competition carried out at a brisk pace (64 matches), draws up a strange observation: that of a very well organized event but not very festive, mixed and popular. A safe, artificial and above-ground World Cup, by and for the rich, marked upstream by many controversies which will remain indelible and will have to serve as examples not to be followed in the future.

The VIP World Cup

You had to spend several thousand Euros to come and spend a few days in Qatar. And have match tickets to enter the country. This gave a World Cup with a sanitized taste, with fans sorted, in fact, on the shutter. A competition for VIPs where the magnificent stadiums were not always full, where the festive atmosphere was mainly concentrated in the central souk of Doha .

Thank you to the Argentinian fans and those of the Arab nations for having set the mood, but we were far from the great mix of previous editions. There was no life in Doha, especially after the first round, where it was clearly emptied, notes Jean-Baptiste Montarnier, member of the group of supporters of the Irresistibles Francais. The wait between two matches was even long. Everything was too muted, too hidden. Like access to alcohol consumption, limited to the bars of large hotels and very expensive. We quickly went up to 200 € for an evening. It is not given to many people.

Incidents were therefore few in number, apart from a few ticketing hiccups or slight crowd movements observed at the start of the competition near the main Fan Zone. But overall, the organization was very well developed, with a feeling of security that pleased many people, with free and smooth transport, all supervised by an impressive number of volunteers and police officers, from a friendliness at all times.

Incidents were therefore few in number, apart from a few ticketing hiccups or slight crowd movements observed at the start of the competition near the main Fan Zone. But overall, the organization was very well developed, with a feeling of security that pleased many people, with free and smooth transport, all supervised by an impressive number of volunteers and police officers, from a friendliness at all times.

Freedom of expression in question

If the controversies mainly occupied the ground upstream of the competition (suspicions of corruption around the attribution of the World Cup, death of thousands of migrant workers on construction sites and flouted human rights, energy mismanagement), this edition will have known some jolts once kick-off given.

World Cup: access the schedule and results

In addition to the ecological indignation (very numerous air shuttles, ubiquitous air conditioning), the real restrictions around freedom of expression have caused a stir. They were crystallized by the banning of the “One Love” armband, under pressure from Fifa, and the reversals around the rainbow flag (symbol of the LGBTQ + cause), which will have seen an American journalist detained for 30 minutes at the entrance to a stadium, for example . It was a real subject, confirms Jean-Baptiste Montarnier, also an activist for the LGBTQ + cause.I wanted to go see France – Poland with a rainbow flag, the security services threw it in the trash. Ditto twice in Fan Zones. It won’t change the culture of Qatar, but at least we showed that we didn’t agree.

Some teams like Denmark or Germany had the guts to show their dissent. We will not say the same of the Blues, courageous on the ground but much less outside.

Smith

Tricare west is a global news publication that tells the stories you want to know.

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