On this edition of Parallax Views, we have a double feature edition of Parallax Views on the 2022 FIFA World Cup being held in Qatar. First up, filmmaker Miles Coleman joins us to discuss the new Netflix docu-series that’s sweeping the internet, FIFA Uncovered. Miles served as a producer for this sports-meets-politics-true-crime exploration of FIFA, international governing body of football/soccer. It’s a dive into a world of schemes, bribes, scandals, and corruptions that even led U.S. federal prosecutors to take on FIFA in 2015. In this conversation we’ll discuss the controversies surrounding the Qatar World Cup, the Citizen Kane-esque tale of former FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, the scandalous downfall of Qatari football administrator Mohammad bin Hamman, how the documentary came together, capitalism/money in sports and the problems it poses, how the real scandal is arguably more about FIFA than Qatar, sportswashing, the argument that cultural exchange will liberalize countries under the rule of authoritarian regimes, the Qatari perspective on the backlash against their hosting of the 2022 World Cup, the ambiguities and murkier elements of the scandalous history explored in FIFA Uncovered, smoking gun evidence of corruption vs. lack of smoking gun evidence for corruption in the world of FIFA, the cross-section between politics and sports, how the ambitious Sepp Blatter’s hunger for power was arguably the cause of his undoing, Argentina and the World Cup scandal of 1978, Berlin and the scandal of the 1936 Olympics, South Africa and FIFA, and much, much more!
In the second segment of the show, Prof. James M. Dorsey, author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer and it’s accompanying blog/podcast, joins us to discuss his take on the controversial Qatar World Cup. Prof. Dorsey argues that Qatar’s interest in hosting the World Cup has to do with their soft power approach to foreign policy. Additionally we discuss covert information warfare by Gulf States like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) against Qatar, whether Qatar will follow through on reforms, the human/labor/LGBTQ+ allegations against Qatar, migrant labor and Qatar, the question of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and bribery, Qatar’s reaction to the backlash against it’s hosting the World Cup, the question Western racism against Qatar, the argument for there being double standards at play in the backlash against Qatar, human rights abuses in the Gulf States more broadly, regional tensions and the World Cups (ie: Qatar, Israel,, Saudi Arabia, and Iran), understanding the Qatari perspective on the 2022 World Cup controversy, the multipolar world and the rise of China and India, and much, much more!