Friday, August 01, 2014

Football latest

Two short pieces. First a Silicon Valley Russian contemplates his home nation:
To understand Russia’s lighting fast descend into the abyss one has to understand a simple truth that many (myself included) suspect all along: Russia was and is a failed state. What is seen from the outside is just a facade imitating a functional country and government. High oil prices, residual infrastructure of USSR and internal mass propaganda machine maintained the illusion for more than a decade.  ... 
In simple terms, Russia is a mafia state. All the way from Moscow to regions and to small towns, everything is controlled by various mafia gangs. Police and judiciary are parts of most powerful gangs. They usually assist in extortion or theft of property earned by local small and medium size businessmen. Big business is subject to federal mafia clan wars.
Second, one of a series of Guardian investigations into what is effectively slave labour in Qatar.
Migrant workers building the first stadium for Qatar's 2022 World Cup have been earning as little as 45p an hour, the Guardian can reveal. ...
The problems for the World Cup workers come after the Guardian revealed on Tuesday that migrant labourers who fitted out luxury offices used by Qatar's World Cup organising committee have not been paid for up to a year and are now living in squalor. 
There has been an international outcry over the deaths of hundreds of migrant builders in Qatar in construction accidents and traffic collisions, and from suicides and heart failure. Low pay, late pay and even no pay are now an increasing concern.
And where are the next two football World Cups due to be held? In a mafia state followed by a slave state - both awarded in free and open competition without a hint of corruption eh?

It's horrible, but it points to a broader problem. Sport is wonderful, on one level it is escapism, but on another it has much broader political implications, especially where prestige events are concerned and there sports administrators show a lack of engagement with everyday morality. The next two tournaments stink.


Keith said...

your first link is broken

The Plump said...

Have just tested it Keith and it is fine. Must have been a temporary glitch. But thanks anyway.