FIFA’s off-field ‘Tiki-Taka’ holding fort…but for how long?
Wow! What a week its been?
Before we begin, Bila, Mohammad & I would like to thank all our fans for the immense response we received for the first part of this feature on social media. Your response has been so invaluable and the ripples of its impact so far-reaching that within merely hours after Qatar Chronicle published the teaser to this article, Sepp Blatter the President of FIFA was forced to release a statement to the Bild newspaper on the subject.
Since then, the international media has been bustling with news regarding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – whether other Gulf countries should be co-hosts, if air-conditioned stadiums are actually feasible or if the World Cup schedule should be unconventionally moved to winter, taking into account the climate in Qatar.
FIFA’s tactic on handling the media’s and billions of sports fans’ anxiety on the subject seems to be clear – “If you can’t convince them, confuse them”. And that is the only explanation that makes sense in light of the contradicting statements that FIFA officials seem to be presenting on the subject. Be it when FIFA representatives suggested changes to the 2022 plans or when the Qatar establishment said “It was all upto FIFA”, the concerned authorities seem to be focused on continuously passing the blame and the shifting responsibility rather than tackling the issue head on.
A ruse so shrewd, one could call it an off-field version of ‘Tiki-Taka’.
And in the midst of all this drama, a mid-week clash between arguably the two biggest clubs in the World – Manchester United and Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League served as a subtle reminder to what football was really about. That be it the action, drama or questionable decisions; it’s what happens on the field that we soccer buffs crave for.
In one of those rare occurrences, both teams walked away from the field winning the hearts of fans worldwide. Manchester United – through their stunning display despite the handicap and Real Madrid through their comeback and the respect they reserved for their opponents. I had to literally pinch myself when I heard ‘The Special One’ say that his team was not so special on the day and that the victory was not well deserved. And there could have been no better gesture to show us what really mattered. That as long as those who love and cherish the game play it with such sportsmanship, no corruption or scandal could ever tarnish the spirit of the World’s favourite game.
Despite immense criticism from our peers in the media and even those within our own editorial team, Bila and I began this quest because we believe this to be true. Because we have the strongest faith in our love and admiration for the game, to be disheartened from watching merely because of an inconvenient truth. One which fans all over the World deserve and one which would ultimately save the face of football rather than scar its image.
All the news surrounding the subject has Bila and me working overtime here on the home front, while Mohammad Tahim has been literally travelling non-stop across Europe this past week, trying to catch up with quickly disappearing leads. As Bila so cleverly puts it, “We started our investigation hoping that somehow, somewhere, for any controversy this big and with this many people involved, someone had to be leaving behind a trail of bread crumbs. What we did not anticipate however was that the perpetrators were so gluttonous that even the few crumbs we did find, were all half-eaten.”
Come what may, with a passion for the truth matched only by our craze for football we at QC remain ever committed to uncovering the truth.
Thank you for your emails, comments, messages and tweets, we’d be lost without your support.
Qatar Chronicle’s special feature on the 2022 controversy continues next week …
Until then with lots of love,
Aani, Bila and Tahim