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We could talk about sex, but Qatar will single you out during the World Cup

This photograph taken on April 20, 2022 shows an exterior view of the al-Janoub Stadium in Doha, which will host matches of the FIFA football World Cup 2022. - Qatar has become almost a byword for scorching heat, but some fans will still take a sweater to World Cup stadiums equipped with state-of-the-art air conditioning that its mastermind says will become the norm. The mercury can hit 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) during the Gulf state's blistering summers, the reason why this year's World Cup was moved to a winter start. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

This photograph taken on April 20, 2022 shows an exterior view of the al-Janoub Stadium in Doha, which will host matches of the FIFA football World Cup 2022. - Qatar has become almost a byword for scorching heat, but some fans will still take a sweater to World Cup stadiums equipped with state-of-the-art air conditioning that its mastermind says will become the norm. The mercury can hit 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) during the Gulf state's blistering summers, the reason why this year's World Cup was moved to a winter start. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

Published Jun 24, 2022

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Johannesburg - If you are single and ready to mingle, then you should probably stay away from Qatar and the World Cup later this year.

Indeed, if you are a single woman wanting to experience the showpiece event, it would arguably be best to wait for the 2026 edition in North America.

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This view is largely informed by the recent news that broke this week that a one-night stand could cost you dearly in the small Arabian nation, which is highly conservative and religiously orthodox.

Sex is a no go, unless you are married; and if you are caught in the act you could face up to seven years in prison.

To be clear, I’m not advocating an orgy of flesh and fluid here, merely the shoulder shrugging acceptance by Fifa that such an infringement on a basic right is okay.

Moreover, if such an encounter is through sexual violence or rape, the victim could face a similar sentence.

The same is true of any person within the LGBTQ+ community who is suspected and charged of “sodomy”.

Of course, this reality did not stop Fifa from updating its Twitter icon in the colours of the rainbow this month to self congratulate itself for celebrating Pride.

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Why would it?

Their hypocrisy knows no bounds. Meanwhile, according to a recent Guardian report earlier this year, 6 500 migrant workers have died since Qatar won the rights to host the World Cup.

The non-entity, and surely simulated avatar of a downloaded AI that has yet to grasp basic human understandings, that is Fifa president Gianni Infantino, had some truly cognitive defying dissonance to justify those abuses, saying: “When you give work to somebody, even in hard conditions, you give him dignity and pride. It’s not charity.”

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If this is not sportswashing, then I do not know what is.

This period is supposed to be the time where supporters can start getting excited for arguably the biggest sporting show on earth, but with every week that builds towards the event in November; the questions of how and why Qatar was awarded hosting rights becomes even more pressing, even more disturbing and even more clear.

Fifa can protest enthusiastically about how the World Cup must be taken to all corners of the globe in an effort to help grow the game, but it is abundantly clear – crystal in fact – that Qatar was chosen as host because they outbid all others with deeper pockets.

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I am not saying that South Africa is a paragon of human rights, a last bastion where an individual, group or culture enjoys unbounded protection from the state and tyranny. Qatar is a sovereign state with its own sovereign laws, and whether we like it or not, that is their right as a nation-state, however abnormal to our own sensibilities.

We should, however, forever hold Fifa in contempt for this travesty.

They have willingly and knowingly sold their soul to the highest bidder and if it were any other multinational conglomerate taking advantage of an inherently exploitative system, we would all be up in arms.

Excitement for the World Cup? It’s dented daily.

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