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UK MPs Accepted Gifts And Paid Trips From Qatar Prior To The Football World Cup.
At least 56 MPs accepted paid-for-trips and gifts from Qatar collectively worth £370,000 over the five years before the 2022 Football World Cup, and dozens of meetings were held between Qatari organisations and the UK Government.
Qatar, the controversial host of the 2022 Fifa tournament, has faced global criticism for its treatment of LGBT people, and at least 6,500 migrant workers who died building infrastructure for the world’s premier football tournament.
The workers who died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago were from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Analysis of MPs’ links to the Qataris found that Westminster politicians have accepted free flights, luxury accommodation, internal travel and meals worth thousands of pounds.
Gifts accepted included hospitality at Goodwood racecourse, watches and Christmas hampers.
Qatari organisations had at least 56 meetings with UK Government ministers including access to prime minister Rishi Sunak and high profile Tory backbenchers such as former prime minister Theresa May.
The Scottish Greens accused Qatar of trying to “win over MPs” by offering them “lavish trips, gifts and hospitality” as part of a “shameful PR campaign”.
Amnesty International accused Qatar of “sports-washing” by hosting the World Cup and said politicians accepting hospitality from the regime must raise human rights issues.
According to data from Campaign Against Arms Trade, which was analysed by the Scottish Greens, since the Tories were elected in 2010, the UK has licenced £3.4billion worth of lethal weaponry to Qatari regime forces who will be policing this year’s World Cup.
Equipment approved includes machine guns, ammunition, weapon sights, assault rifles and ‘anti-riot’ shields.
( Billy Briggs and Petra Matijevic, 25.11.2022 )  ..

I once cried because I had no shoes to play soccer, but one day, I met a man who had no feet.
( Zinedine Zidane )

The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.
( Pelé )

The first 90 minutes are the most important.
( Bobby Robson )

We talk about it for 20 minutes and then we decide I was right.
( Brian Clough )

UK Government Plan For An Independent Football Regulator.
The plan for an independent football regulator, recommended by a fan-led review last year, has been confirmed by the UK government.
Preventing historic clubs going out of business is one of the aims, as well as giving fans greater input and a new owners’ and directors’ test.
The significant move aims to protect English football’s cultural heritage.
The main purposes of the proposed new regulator will be:
* Stopping English clubs from joining closed-shop competitions, which are judged to harm the domestic game.
* Preventing a repeat of financial failings seen at numerous clubs, notably the collapses of Bury and Macclesfield.
* Introducing a more stringent owners’ and directors’ test to protect clubs and fans.
* Giving fans power to stop owners changing a club’s name, badge and traditional kit colours.
* Ensuring a fair distribution of money filters down the English football pyramid from the Premier League.
The Premier League was said to be wary of a regulatory body when the proposals were announced in April last year.
The league says it is “vital” a regulator does not lead to any “unintended consequences” that could affect its global appeal and success.
( Jonathan Jurejko, 23.02.2023 )  ..

To win you have to score one more goal than your opponent.
( Johan Cruyff )

A penalty is a cowardly way to score.
( Pelé )

Some people think football is a matter of life and death.
I don’t like that attitude.
I can assure them it is much more serious than that.

( Bill Shankly )

He dribbles a lot, and the opposition don’t like it.
You can see it all over their faces.
( Ron Atkinson )

How Did Qatar Get To Host The Football World Cup?
It was back in January 2009 when FIFA invited countries to bid for the right to host the 2018 and 2022 Football World Cups.
Russia eventually won a vote to hold the 2018 competition, beating bids from England, Portugal/Spain, and Belgium/Netherlands.
Once Russia were confirmed as hosts of the 2018 World Cup, FIFA rules meant that members of UEFA (European countries) would not be eligible to bid for the 2022 tournament.
That left five competing bids from Australia, Japan, Qatar, South Korea, and the United States.
On December 2, 2010, the FIFA Executive Committee met in Zurich to vote on the bids, with the country receiving the lowest number of votes dropping out after each round.
Australia were eliminated first, receiving only one vote from the 22-strong committee, followed by Japan and South Korea.
In the final round, and to the shock of many football fans, Qatar beat the USA by 14 votes to 8.
Qatar did not seem to be a particularly good fit for the World Cup, becoming the smallest nation by area ever to have been awarded the competition, and only the second country (after Japan) to host the tournament having never qualified for it previously.
With tough laws on alcohol consumption, a poor human rights record, a ban on same-sex relationships, and high temperatures (that caused the tournament to be switched from summer to winter), and there was no shortage of reasons to choose a different country to host.
There have been multiple allegations of bribery and corruption in the process that selected both Qatar and Russia as host countries.
Qatar was accused of paying FIFA officials around £3million in bribes, but was ultimately cleared after a two-year FIFA investigation.
However, chief investigator Michael J. Garcia has since described FIFA’s report on his enquiry as containing “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations”, and both the FBI and French authorities have opened investigations into corruption.
Several of the 22 FIFA executive committee members who voted for Qatar have since been accused, banned or indicted over allegations of corruption and wrongdoing.
( David Hepburn, 25.11.2022 )  ..

I don’t believe in superstitions.
I just do certain things because I’m scared in case something will happen if I don’t do them.
( Michael Owen )

I’ve had 14 bookings this season.
Eight of which were my fault, but seven of which were disputable.
( Paul Gascoigne )

I think in England you eat too much sugar and meat and not enough vegetables.
( Arsene Wenger )

The best team did not win this match.
( Jose Mourinho )

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