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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The 2022 World Cup: the most watched soccer event amid scandals

World Cup 2022

The 2022 World Cup ?which is held every four years? and which began this edition on November 20 in Doha, Qatar, is the largest sporting event in the world, which, according to the International Football Federation ?FIFA, by its French acronym? by December 18 it will have been seen by more than half the world's population. 

Thirty-two nations compete against each other for the FIFA World Cup title, bringing together the young and old despite the political scandals that have erupted around the event.

And it is that much has been said about various corrupt acts that led to Qatar being elected in 2010 as the venue for the FIFA World Cup and even newspapers such as the Sunday Time denounced that the Middle Eastern country paid more than 5 million dollars in bribes in support of his candidacy to stage the large-scale event.

In addition, there have been numerous scandals surrounding labor exploitation suffered by workers on World Cup-related construction sites, which led to the deaths of hundreds of people. In this sense, the secretary general of the Supreme Committee of the Organization and the Legacy of Qatar 2022, Hassan Al Thawadi, acknowledged the death of between 400 and 500 migrant workers, however The Guardian newspaper estimates the death of at least 6,500 people.

Likewise, the Arab nation has received strong criticism in relation to the rights of women and the LGBTQ + community.

However ?and despite all this?, the World Cup, every four years brings together millions of people around the world.

"Passion goes beyond any type of reasoning that someone may have," said Henrik Rehbinder, journalist and editor of the newspaper La Opinión at a press conference organized by Ethnic Media Services in which experts met to talk about the phenomenon of soccer.

The sport of the people

Thousands of people around the world play soccer, professionally, for pleasure or as a way of living together and from the earliest stages of their lives they have aroused a passion for this sport.

«I started? Like many Argentines and people in Latin America? having a ball as a child, if someone gave me a ball I would start kicking it and that was very natural for me, it was a sport that everyone played,” said Henrik Rehbinder, journalist and editor of the newspaper La Opinión.

«In Cameroon it was the only sport in which we could participate? Due to economic reasons? and if we didn't have a ball, we played with the banana leaves, we tied them in the shape of a ball," said Charles Anchang, co-editor of Immigrant Magazine, and recognized that soccer is very important for his country because it has helped him to “put it on the map”.

«I started playing soccer by accident, I was supporting my brother who was doing some tests in one of the best teams in Egypt, I was behind the goal, they shot a goal and I ran to the ball and the coaches looked at me and asked me why. what was not doing the test. I was nine years old and I've been playing soccer ever since," said Ehab Zenga, who has played for the Egyptian national team and is a professional soccer coach and owner of Legacy Anaheim FC.

Andrew Howwon Jo, owner and head coach of UMA FC in LaGrange, Calif., noted his love for coaching and helping develop young talent. «I grew up with soccer in Korea, that was something essential. I didn't play any sport until I was 10 years old, at that time there was a soccer team and the coach offered me to join the team and he told me it would be good so I decided to join," he said.

Rehbinder also pointed out that soccer is a global and accessible sport and that "everyone has a chance to play," regardless of whether you are strong or not, or tall or not. "You have this addiction to gambling and you need nothing more than some people who have the same addiction," he declared.

"Football is a community, tribal, community sport and then it becomes a sport of the university, of the city and so it starts to grow, that makes football so popular," Anchang said.

For his part, Zenga pointed out that "soccer is a very affordable sport compared to other sports."

Finally, Howoon Jo, pointed out that to play soccer you only need a ball, "compared to any other sport like baseball, in soccer you only need a bow, however that can be assembled anywhere and with whatever."

You may be interested in: Defeat of Argentina in the World Cup unleashes racism in social networks

Karina Alvarado
Karina Alvarado
Communications graduate from the FCPyS UNAM. Passionate about gender issues and child protection.

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