FIFA is projected to exceed its revenue target of $6.4 billion for its 2019-2022 cycle, per Bloomberg.

The 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup, hosted by Qatar, will begin Sunday. 
Qatar has a track record of human-rights violations, including anti-LGBTQ and anti-women laws.
Corporate leaders advertising or sponsoring the World Cup should do more to promote change.

It’s called the beautiful game. But this time, soccer won’t look quite as good.

As millions gear up to watch the World Cup, fewer seem prepared to face the contradictions between what we tell ourselves about the power of sports to unite and the reality of rapacious business interests that often work against the greater good. 

The 2022 World Cup is being played — controversially — in Qatar and happening against a backdrop that includes the deaths of perhaps thousands of migrant workers who built the tournament’s eight stadiums and other facilities, allegations of bribery, and a host country that often subjugates women and has outlawed homosexuality. 

The 32 nations vying for the coveted title are focused on winning. And so are the big brands dropping massive sums of money to flash their logos during the monthlong tournament. The teams, the brands, and many of the rest of us are doing as we’re told because it aligns with our interests. 

“Please, let’s now focus on the football!” read a recent letter to World Cup teams signed by Gianni Infantino, FIFA’s president. “We will have 2 million people coming from all over the world and showing the world that humanity can live in peace together,” he said at a news conference last month.

Sports have long played an important role in diplomacy, but this year’s World Cup is not one of those peacemaking, world-changing moments, and it’s ridiculous for leaders to pretend it is. Viewers and athletes are being asked to “compromise” on LGBTQ rights, forget about the migrant-worker deaths, and not engage in any protest. 

The toxic positivity of it all is oppressive. 

While it’s one thing to ask viewers watch, smile, and cheer, it’s another to assume they’re stupid and unaware of what’s going on in the world. Instead of pretending there isn’t an elephant on the field, corporate leaders should be using this as a teaching moment. But, too often, the bottom line gets the last word. 

Despite the setting where the rights of women, LGBTQ …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

FIFA wants us to think the World Cup is about showing ‘humanity can live in peace together.’ It’s really about money — but I’ll still watch.

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