“A deflated soccer ball in the desert seemed like a perfect metaphor to capture the controversy” around the World Cup, which begins this Sunday, November 20 in Qatar, explains illustrator Barry Downard about his drawing which made the front page of the latest edition of the magazine Guardian Weekly.
“Here we g-oh”, headlines the British weekly, as if to utter a passionate cry that ends up… falling flat. With subtitle: “How politics and human rights punctured the World Cup in Qatar”, qualified in opening the file of “Cursed World Cup”.
The editor of the Guardian Weekly, Graham Snowdon writes:
“Normally a FIFA World Cup is a time of celebration, a chance to savor the power of sport to unite nations, and a wonderful escape from everyday problems. Not this time […].”
Qatar is indeed the subject of significant criticism, going as far as calls for a boycott of the competition, on the treatment of migrant workers, anti-LGBTQI laws and restrictions on freedom of expression.
Inside this issue, the diplomacy specialist of the Guardian, Patrick Wintour, wonders if the emirate has not lost, geopolitically, “even before kick-off [de la compétition] be given”.