Will I watch?

Yes, I will, as I have previously described. But I can’t say I’m very excited about it.

I’m well aware of the human rights abuses and general nastiness of the Qatari regime, but my not switching on the TV for Morocco v Croatia isn’t going to make any difference to how that Government feels about homosexuality. And it was abundantly clear from the very start that this was just a massive, corrupt spend on reputation laundering; an attempt which I think has already backfired massively. Realistically, how many people who previously hadn’t considered Qatar as a potential destination for business or pleasure (no, not those sorts of pleasure – naughty!) are now looking at the nation in a more favourable light?


It’s all a massive f-up and the only good bit about any of it is the football, so I’ll watch that.
However – like Musa Okwonga – it will be without my usual enthusiasm:

After all, a World Cup is something to be celebrated: at its best it is a global event where, for all its excess, society somehow seems to move forward. Witness, for example, the beautifully-curated 2010 tournament in South Africa, which allowed the hosts to take centre stage in hearts and minds across the planet. Or the 2002 World Cup, superbly organised by Japan and South Korea, which saw Brazil win in a style that was true to football’s loftiest aesthetic ideals.

Sadly, though, the last three World Cups – Brazil, Russia and now Qatar – have in succession managed to perform a sort of asset-stripping of the soul of this competition, tearing away much of its sheen and leaving us with its basic elements: that is to say, a well-run series of games that is available to whoever may be the highest bidder.

But, yes. I’ll still be watching.

Although, if I believed in spooky signs from the netherworld, there’s loadshedding right when it’s kicking off. Which could either been seen as a bit of a hint, or could be just because we have loadshedding several times a day, and one (or more) of them was always going to coincide with some of the matches.

You decide.