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Are you enjoying the World Cup money making con?

This opinion piece is over 1 year old

Michael McEwan says that the Qatar tournament is all about profit

Every four years we look forward to the World Cup for expert football and the atmosphere the fans bring.

In the past we've watched in the summer but not this one, this is the first time it been played in winter, the first tournament to be held in the Arab world.

Qatar is relatively new to football world, having played its first official match in 1970. The tournament is being played in a reduced timeframe of 29 days, with 64 matches played in eight venues across five cities. Qatar is the smallest nation by area ever to host the World Cup, the next smallest was Switzerland in 1954.

This tournament is being held in the winter because of the intense climatic conditions. At estimated cost of over $220 billion it is the most expensive World Cup ever held, with the highest costs accumulated by special built super air conditioned stadiums, and fan zones.

It saw most controversial build up to a World Cup, with all the press chatter about human rights even before the first ball had been kicked, and the decision to award Qatar has been the source of criticism, particularly their treatment of migrant workers woman and position on LGBT rights.

Ex FIFA president Sepp Blatter twice stated that giving hosting rights was a "mistake" however incumbent FIFA president Gianni Infantino defended the hosting. We reminisce about the beautiful game, but when we reflect on this tournament the legacy will be very different.

It will be remembered as the first tournament ever to get played in winter, in country against LGBT people and with very few human rights. In a supposedly progressive world, this is very much going back in time.

In my opinion this is just a money making exercise, they don't care about the football. The prize money for all the teams is each qualified will receive $1.5m before the competition to cover preparation costs with each team receiving at least $9m in prize money.

The total prize pool will be $440m, greater then the prize pool of previous tournaments. This is in stark contrast to global crisis in cost of living. Sport and entertainment should have a social responsibility.

Michael McEwan is a freelance journalist and disability campaigner.

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