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Arsene Wenger has now left a stain on his legendary legacy by his World Cup comments

  • Sports

By Admin Pat

Long term readers will know my admiration for Arsene Wenger, factually the most successful manager in our history.

I used to suggest that only when he left us would it become clear how good a job he did to ‘only’ finish in the top 4 under his employers, something we haven’t done since.

As I predicted we have regressed since his exit, finishing in our worst league position in quarter of a century, having zero European football for the first time in decades.

We are currently in a cycle where we forced Mr Wenger out for not qualifying for the Champions League to 4 years later …. still not qualifying for the Champions League.

The only difference being the same Gooners who mocked 4th now view 5th as progress?

Anyways my point is, it takes a lot for me to question what comes out of the 73-year-olds mouth.

Yet shamefully this week he became the latest high-profile figure in the sport to sell his principles for the sake of money, by suggesting those who underachieved at this World Cup did so based on being distracted by their political beliefs aimed at Qatar.

Namely, a belief that in 2022 anyone should feel safe to attend a football match, no matter their gender or sexuality.

Something that is insisted upon in FIFA’s own rule book and legislation that they and Qatar insisted in 2010 wouldn’t be an issue being followed.

It breaks my heart to say that, as it’s not like he doesn’t have enough money in the bank. Yet if we are going to attack David Beckham and Gary Neville for taking a pay day, then I have got to be balanced.

At least certain pundits will converse that breaking human right laws is wrongs, that maybe any death of migrant workers isn’t acceptable.

Our ex-boss, sounded like the confused grandad at the Xmas get together, not aware of the gibberish he was spouting.

This from a man who the media used to trust for honest, intellectual opinions.

He’s in a difficult position as FIFA pay his wages, yet there is nothing in his job description saying he has to sacrifice his moral compass.

Now there’s holes in his argument so much it’s embarrassing.

Does a man so obsessed with the game for his entire life truly believe Germany exited the group stage just because in their pre match routine their 11 covered their mouths?

England, Holland and Switzerland were equally warned at the last moment about wearing the ‘One Love’ band but that didn’t prevent them from progressing to the knockout stages.

Mr Wenger even contradicts himself, praising Australia’s performance in the last two weeks. That’s the same Australian team who posted a Youtube video directly questioning Qatar’s laws and culture.

It’s become fashionable to say that sport and politics don’t mix.

That’s what you’re told if you dare think that women should be treated equal and that a football fan shouldn’t be afraid of travelling to a tournament because of who they sleep with.

That makes you ignorant, trying to preach another nation how they should act.

Yet, Qatar and FIFA can’t have it both ways. They can’t sportwash, use the popularity of a product to garner eyes on their country, but then the moment those eyes don’t like what they see ask for zero politics to be mentioned.

Other parts of the Middle East used boxing and wrestling, entertainment from the West, to then promote progress being made in that part of the world.

Qatar are happy to use Football to showcase their hospitality skills. They can’t then complain when they don’t like what they hear.

Mr Wenger studied economics. Combined with his product knowledge, he knows why FIFA chose them as hosts. To pretend otherwise is an insult.

The country had one built stadium when they bid for hosting duties compared to other applicants with readymade venues.

Surely using structures that for years were housing sports, was a better option than deaths due to some being built unlawfully.

This version of the World Cup cost more to create than all the previous editions combined!

Mr Wenger knows this.

He equally understands the modern football supporter has been put in an impossible situation.

They have to wait every 4 years to see the greatest show on earth.

As the games Governing body, it’s FIFA responsibility to ensure that show can be watched by everyone in a safe environment.

Their own ethos is the game is for everyone and that all associations need to respect this.

They somehow have the audacity to break the rules they created then ask people not to complain.

As much as a supporter doesn’t have a right to expect a nation to change their religion or culture, nor should FIFA abandon their mission statement based on a host’s outlook.

If FIFA say they have a zero tolerance against discrimination, then simply don’t shortlist any country that can’t provide that.

All at least have the gumption 12 years ago to be open with the public. FIFA and Qatar would have earnt more respect had they said from day 1 that laws and religion meant certain groups would be treated a certain way. Instead, they lied and waited for the last moment to change promises made.

Now they hide behind the company line that anyone who thinks women and same sex couples should be treated better, that makes you an ignorant hypocrite from the West who should be looking at his own nations track record.

That’s why they have paid a who’s who’s of the industry to be their shield. One of which unfortunately is Mr Wenger.

The same man who having lived in London since 1996, was a vocal backer of England’s bid to host the World Cup, and who at the time questioned if Russia and Qatar were picked by Sepp Blatter based on genuine protocol.

Well sorry Mr Wenger, I’m comfortable in my conscionse that even one person dying over migrant workers treatment is one too many.

The UK’s immigration policy doesn’t make that okay. You’re not okay to do something inhuman just because things are wrong elsewhere.

And no Mr Wenger, I’m not a racist just because I don’t question the next World Cup location.

Yes, America, Canada and Mexico have policies I don’t agree with, but they don’t impact anyone’s right to enter a stadium.

For example, Gun Laws don’t stop anyone buying a ticket, dictate what entrance you enter, get you stopped by security based on how you look, impact how you act on match day, who you hold hands with, etc.

If I can make those points, then so can Mr Wenger.

He’s FIFA’s Chief Of Global Development.

With great power comes great responsibility!

Mr Wenger neglected that responsibility.

He just became another suit, another nodding dog.

Shame.

 

Dan

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