You are currently viewing Criticism of World Cup 2018 and 2022: Identical up to the choice of words

21 Nov 2022 8:21 p.m

By Gert Ewen Ungar

“I think that this World Cup shouldn’t be a success for Qatar,” says the federal government’s queer commissioner, Sven Lehmann. And I think that the moral hubris of German politics has long since exceeded the level of tolerability. The comments on the World Cup in Qatar appear narcissistic, arrogant and stupid. Above all, they are one thing: almost identical to those of four years ago. A pure repetition and therefore completely unbelievable in this form.

Can anyone remember the last soccer World Cup? That was in 2018. It was held in Russia. In the run-up to the event, the German media almost vomited with disgust at the venue. Russia! Ironically, Russia! The Human Rights! LGBT! With regard to the LGBT issue, the media hysteria was identical to the sentence structure and choice of words that is now pouring out of German gazettes about Qatar.

Was the writing from that time retrospectively compared with what actually happened in Russia? Russia was a homophobic country, media consumers were drummed into every last turn of their brains at the time. Gays and lesbians were advised not to travel to the World Cup. “As a gay fan to the World Cup in Russia?” asked, for example nv and the portal queer.de saw gay fans traveling to Russia with one foot in jail. The text was hardly rewritten for the current World Cup.

LGBT – The new German favorite topic for the moral all-round blow

The new favorite topic, which is suitable for a sweeping attack against all countries outside the collective West and has become the sole measure of freedom and democracy for the German media, was activated again to give free rein to moral outrage. Will there be a correction this time if gay and lesbian fans in Qatar are not harassed and discriminated against despite all the prophecies? Of course not, because it’s not about the matter, but the matter has long since degenerated into a political instrument.

In 2018, Russian fans were warned that they were said to be particularly violent. “Hooligans announce ‘Festival of Violence’,” he knew, for example Focus to report. At that time, too, it was demanded that German politicians not travel to the World Cup to take a stand against repression. The World Cup was written in the ground. Just like the World Cup in Qatar now. Only the topic of violent hooligans was considered very far-fetched in the German editorial offices for the desert state. Otherwise, the topics 2018 and 2022 do not differ in anything.

Germany moralizes about human rights – in China, Qatar, Egypt.  What about Guantanamo?

In 2018, Human Rights Watch warned of repression and discrimination in Russia and called for a confessing statement from FIFA. Workers’ rights were systematically violated during the construction of stadiums in Russia, according to the human rights organization, which has been accused of being too close to US politics. Today it reads like the blueprint for the smear campaign against Qatar.

Criticism of Qatar is re-heated criticism of Russia

The German media readily took up and widely disseminated the allegations, which are identical to those that are now being made against Qatar. Of the daily mirror offered the German director of Human Rights Watch a stage and quoted his allegations against Russia:

“The opposition is kept small and threatened in some cases. The media are largely brought into line, critical journalism is persecuted, journalists are physically threatened, beaten and murdered. There are political murders. Gay and lesbian rights are being attacked. There is a general lack of democracy and liberality.”

"Hypocrisy": World Cup host Qatar rejects criticism

Four years later, only the country name had to be changed in the text modules. The allegations are essentially the same. Of course, I can’t say whether they have more substance to offer this time than they did then. But what I can say is that there was nothing to it at the time. The suspicion is therefore that this time there is nothing to it and that it is just a politically motivated smear campaign against a country that does not completely submit to Western dictates and does not automatically accept every point of view. In 2018, dirt was thrown to such an extent that one could only be ashamed of the German resentment. And the German media simply repeats this strategy – almost word for word.

Media reports and reality

I was in Russia for the World Cup. None of what Western media announced happened. No wild brawls, no public slaughter of LGBT people to the applause of homophobic Russians. All the pessimism, all the negativity and gloom with which the German media painted the image of Russia for their consumers – none of that happened.

The mood was great. On the first day of the game, people danced in the streets of Moscow in the evening. A few days later we were in a gay club in Petersburg and were warned at the entrance that it was a gay club. The foreign fans had been so misinformed by the Western news that misunderstandings had arisen. Straight football fans had gotten lost in “queer locations” which, according to what their media had told them, shouldn’t even exist in Russia. So everyone who, like us, wanted to go to St. Petersburg’s Central Station was told at the entrance what kind of location it was.

Once again the Ukrainian regime proves its kinship with fascism

The only difference between the excruciatingly discriminatory reporting then and now is that at the 2018 World Cup, Russia’s President Putin was approached head-on. Qatar is a little more general. The names and faces are less familiar, otherwise the same tone, the same instruments, the same orchestra.

Especially when comparing 2018 to today, the whole arbitrariness of the process becomes apparent. The instrumentalization of moral outrage against countries outside the collective West is well practiced and harmoniously orchestrated: everyone is involved. Human rights are instrumentalised.

Human rights violations right on Germany’s doorstep

There are massive violations of human rights right on Germany’s doorstep, in the Ukraine, about which the German media spread a cloak of silence. What’s more, in Ukraine there are not only violations of human rights, but crimes against humanity on a daily basis. Germany even encourages these crimes by supplying weapons and by German politicians and the media simply remaining silent on the conformity of the press, lynch law and torture, and language and culture discrimination in Ukraine.

Kyiv puts SPD parliamentary group leader Mützenich on the terror list

Of course, the German media is not interested in any of this. On the contrary, anyone who raises the issue is slandered. German media are embedded in a strategy of manipulation and opinion making. A German journalist in a German media company can only dream of the freedom of his Russian colleagues. Violations of human rights are only denounced in those countries that evade the dictates of the collective West.

This is exactly what makes Germany so absolutely unbelievable and the German moral hubris so unbearable. It turns the real, important issue into a blunt sword. Germany is not serious about the issue, as becomes clear from the instrumentalization. The accusations of hypocrisy and double standards are entirely justified. One can therefore only guess, whenever it comes to morals and ethics, don’t listen to Germany. Anything that comes from Germany is a lie.

more on the subject – Post-factual moralism – or how the government reinterprets reality

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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