Ricky Ha · Reply ·

Top Commenter · New Haven, Connecticut 3 · Like · Follow Post · 11 minutes ago

Insultingly biased tripe. This writer should have all his journalistic credentials revoked.

Patrick Boadu · Research at BMW Center for German and European Studies (CGES) Show some dignity ESPN and take this commercial off. embarrassing Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 12 minutes ago

Robert Kelly · Montclair State University Blatantly disregarding the rights and and safety of, mostly foreign, workers is something a young country has to "learn" not to do? And FIFA would prefer to look the other way. Where will the 2026 World Cup be held? North Korea? Libya? Somalia? $$$! Reply · Like · Follow Post · 14 minutes ago Robert RJ Myers · Works at Group Sales Inc. Sounds like their presentation was just like the one a Time Share Agent would use. Lots of pretty pictures and wonderful promises to sucker you in. But when you want to actually use it, it is not available so you have to move your vacation and interrupt everyone else's plans. it may be a wonderful and up and coming country, one I might want to visit one day but not in 100 degree + heat in the middle of june. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 30 minutes ago Nicky English · Top Commenter · Notre Dame College

Just the fact that Ball decided to come on the comment board to defend himself shows that he has some clue that what he did is wrong. There's hope yet. Unbelievable stuff though. A positive spin on slavery. Mind boggling. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 44 minutes ago Nakadai Okuyama · Top Commenter

This article is pure, 100%, unadulterated sh*t. "Why should 2022 be considered a venue for a Western drinking-fest?" What a myopic, biased view of the partying aspect of the WC. We Koreans are bigger drinkers than almost anyone on the planet--save maybe the Russians--and we aren't Westerners, Ball. When I and my Korean colleagues descend upon Brasil next summer, we will exit the airport and head straight for the nearest watering hole. The WC is a massive, undulating, bacchanalian party that cannot be restricted to "many of the hotels," Ball, and whether you like it or not, alcohol and public inebriation are inherently tied to the WC experience. Take away the party, which is as big or bigger than the footie itself, and the WC loses half of its allure. "Consideration for other people's values.." Give me a break. You don't schedule a Playboy Playmate reunion in Saudi Arabia, and you don't send the world's biggest party to Qatar. Ball, you're a small-brained-bought-off-Qatari-shill-journalist-wannabe. Get off your keyboard and back in bed with your sheik. Reply · 6 · Like · Follow Post · 8 hours ago Tsaed Kidza · Top Commenter · Johannesburg, Gauteng

What a roar! even a lion would be scared, man! Reply · Like · 7 hours ago Mason Hayat · Follow · Top Commenter · Owner/CEO at Hayat Media Consultants

Check the comment above. TWISTED LIE Reply · Like · 7 hours ago Phil Hasenkamp · Reply · View 1 more Top Commenter · Iowa State University

99.999% of the world will be watching it on T.V. so your concern is not valid or well stated. 2 · Like · 7 hours ago

Timothy Gutwald ·

Top Commenter · Grosse Pointe, Michigan

You were invited on an all expense paid trip by whom? Based on this quote: "Qatar's almost limitless budget means it can invite anybody it wants" it appears your trip was bought and paid for by Qatar. You then write a glowing story about the country. If "It's significant that the current witch hunt of the Qatar '22 project and everything that it involves has come from several Western journalists who have never set foot in the country. It's not a necessary qualification for comment, but it helps." Then it's also significant that this glowing recommendation of the Qatar '22 project and everything it inolves comes from a journalist who appears to have gotten a free trip to Qatar paid for by Qatar. Not accepting gifts from the subject of your article is not a necessary qualification for objective journalism, but it helps. Reply · 5 · Like · Follow Post · 3 hours ago Matthew Faraday The new stadium looks like a Georgia O'Keefe painting, if you know what I mean Reply · Like · about an hour ago Peter Bruce Bard · Follow · Top Commenter · Boston, Massachusetts

"Why bribe the officials if you know your sales pitch is the best? It makes no sense. The Harvard-educated Qataris at the head of this bid are many things, but they are not stupid." But apparently you are, if you don't think we have access to the technical reports. Everyone knows that Qatar's bid was the worst, and the only reason they got the WC is because they bought votes. They got caught buying votes. This isn't even disputed. FIFA just decided to punish those whose votes they bought, so they could continue to enrich themselves. Phil, you should be embarrassed to have your name on this trash. Reply · 5 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago Phil Ball · Top Commenter · San Sebastián, Pais Vasco, Spain

Peter - which 'reports' are you referring to? I insist - their bid was brilliant. It doesn't mean anything necessarily, but it was much better than the Aussie one, by all reports. Reply · Like · 4 hours ago Vikram Peters · Top Commenter

A crime against one person is a crime everywhere. Every human being knows the difference between what is permissible and what is not. The Qataris do not need a Western PR firm or a PH.D in Western Ethics to inform them what is right and wrong. In fact, the Qataris should have known that treating laborers as chattel is a crime, and cannot be permissible in any society. Yet, of course, like Charles Lindenberg and the Nazis, Phil Ball has deigned to overlook such troubling elements with a mere sleight of his hand by quoting the "we are a young nation" gibberish. Reply · 5 · Like · Follow Post · 14 hours ago Chuck Newell · Works at Notre Dame High School Don't forget he is: "one of a handful of journalists invited on an all-expenses paid trip to see the inner workings." How did he get this positive perspective anyway? I'm sure they gave him an exit visa when he had finished working. Reply · Like · 14 hours ago Phil Ball · Top Commenter · San Sebastián, Pais Vasco, Spain

Chuck Newell Hi Chuck. I used to live there. Reply · Like · 3 hours ago Omar Anaya · Top Commenter · FMV Analyst at Radiance Technologies

Phil is a F'ng moron for trying to sweep aside slavery and excuse the Qataris. They treat their foreign laborers like crap. Or Maybe Ball received money from the Qataris to promote the nation on ESPN. hmm. Reply · 5 · Like · Follow Post · 11 hours ago Phil Ball · Top Commenter · San Sebastián, Pais Vasco, Spain

Omar - well it's easy to insult. I'm not sweeping aside anything. But it's an article about the possible positives that might come out of all the bad stuff. That's all. I didn't receive anything. Just a flight - to get there and see some of the stuff. Ok? Reply · Like · 3 hours ago

Kerri L. Berney ·

Follow · New York, New York

Phil Ball That's all well and good, but is the death of the workers worth all of the possible positives? Why exactly is their life not worth as much as your entertainment? Reply · Like · about an hour ago Jeremy Dodd · Reply · Top Commenter · Arizona

How much did Qatar pay you for this one Phil? 5 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago Phil Ball · Reply · Top Commenter · San Sebastián, Pais Vasco, Spain 1 · Like · 4 hours ago

Absolutely nothing Jeremy.

Keith Hickey · Editor at Goal North America Phil Ball Other than the all-expenses paid trip. Reply · 7 · Like · 3 hours ago Top Commenter

Joseph J. Finn · Reply ·

Phil Ball Except for your entire trip, of course. 2 · Like · about an hour ago

Rysiu Markowski · Monash University well, seems as though my earlier post was jettisoned, so again, the author was "one of a handful of journalists invited on an all-expenses paid trip to see the inner workings". in my life i'm yet to read an article by anyone taken on an "all-expenses paid trip" who decided that yes, their paymasters are as bad as all that. Reply · 4 · Like · Follow Post · 11 hours ago Phil Ball · Top Commenter · San Sebastián, Pais Vasco, Spain

Rysiu - Well you've just seen one. I think I tried to balance the article fairly. That was agreed before I accepted, btw. ESPN didn't need to mention the expenses thing. Seems as though honesty isn't always the best policy. Reply · Like · 4 hours ago Joseph J. Finn · Top Commenter

Phil Ball Seriously? In writing this puff piece for a country run by a dictator that is building World Cup facilities with slaves, you actually think the part where you disclosed that the people you were praising are the ones paying for your trip was the mistake in the article? (ASPIRE4SPORT's main sponsor, what a surprise, is the Qatar World Cup 2022 committee.) Reply · 2 · Like · about an hour ago

Arturo Haces · San Antonio, Texas F Off P.Ball...I don't care who paid you."Treated like cattle " Recent reports of workers at Qatar& "Gays please don't come to World Cup 2022 in Mid-East" said by the devil Bladder.Oh & please let it be in the winter.IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.USA 2022 Reply · 4 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago

Kevin Tan · Singapore, Singapore whole piece smells of "paid off" Reply · 4 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago Top Commenter

Kenny Guillermo Alcivar ·

This article is a great attempt at damage control, but I'll stop short from calling Phil Ball any names or insulting his credibility or reputation, like some of the comments below. Some of you need to grow up and recognize -- this is an opinion piece and an interesting one at that. He clearly reveals that he spent some time living in Qatar, so I think he's well qualified to write about their conditions there. With that said, this article trivializes some serious issues. Where I disagree with his opinion is his response to these controversial Qatari

circumstances. The workers' rights issue? "We're a young nation" ain't gonna cut it, they'd better step up and get that fixed. Host-guest relationship needs to be 50-50? I'm all for observing different cultures, but not to the extent of being repressed by one. Mr. Ball, despite a valiant attempt at damage control, has only one decent argument for Qatar in his piece, and that was all about the close proximity between 2022 World Cup matches... which is a weak argument. Reply · 3 · Like · Follow Post · 14 hours ago

Tizz Ferrari · Birkbeck, University of London Trash, who's paying your wages?? which sheikh Specifically. Reply · 3 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago

Andy Oakley · Norton Canes High School I admire Phil as a writer (loved Morbo) and certainly someone needs to offer an opposing view to the current 'worst place in the world to hold a world cup' narrative, but the more i read about Qatar the more difficult it seems to defend. Yes, Phil, there are stories regarding world cup 'incentives' being offered, somewhat backed up be an email sent by the FIFA secretary general stating that the world cup had been 'bought' by Qatar. There are the issues of workers rights (and deaths) around the building of the stadia and infrastructure, the mistreatment of footballers and workers not given exit visas and essentially being left with nothing. Surely the defence that 'other places might be just as bad' is no argument at all. This is outside of the issues of gender and sexuality, where there can be no defence at all. The real question is where the problem lies, human rights issues and sports do not mix well, FIFA is not the organisation to bring about change in migrant working conditions, the very least they can do is not create the opportunity for further migrants to be mistreated. By placing the world cup in Qatar they have failed to even do that. Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 3 hours ago Follow

Nirab Manandhar ·

Phil Ball - "handful of journalists invited on an all-expenses paid trip to see the inner workings. The city hasn't changed much since 2009. " "We are a young nation. We're learning too." There were no lame excuses proffered. - Yes they are learning to capitalize on innocent poor people and enslave them.. Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago

Ben Sydnor · UVA You say it's absurd to think the Qatari have paid off FIFA, and yet you admit the basis for your article is an Qatari-provided all-expenses paid trip. Dude. YOU just got paid off to talk good about them. Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 2 hours ago Top Commenter · Curtin University

Gibran Mohamed ·

interesting take on Qatar here Phil but for all the points you raised, I am still yet to hear an argument as to why Qatar and Russia deserved the World Cup over the other bidding countries, namely Australia and the US. Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago

Ian Zammit Well Done! Great article! It's about time that someone spoke out of 1st hand knowledge about Qatar rather than pure prejudice. Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 19 hours ago Vic Vasquez · Seattle University *Face palm* Reply · Like · about an hour ago John-Paul Tyler · ICU RN at John Muir Medical Center I beleive the same way they paid off FIFA officials they're paying off the media. Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 2 hours ago

John Randall Boycott Qatar. Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago Anne Ramos · TCU I've enjoyed and respected Phill Ball's body of work in the past but I think he's dead wrong with this piece. It's true that we're not decrying Russia's human rights abuses in regards to their successful bid of 2018 and we absolutely should. However, by basically glossing over the practical and moral concerns of a Qatari world cup, we subvert the opportunity to have a legitimate dialogue about the WC bidding process and the transparency of FIFA as a whole. If FIFA's self-professed mission is using the WC as an agent of change, why shouldn't we demand that the governing body of the sport we love award its premier event to countries that conform to universal human values? Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago Top Commenter

Vikram Peters ·

Football has now gotten in bed with the thieves, slave drivers and swindlers. Even Sepp Blatter has admitted that Qatar's bidding process was compromised. Then again, what business has FC Barcelona doing business with Qatar? After all, FCB's raison d'être material claims revolves around the oppression of one region (Catalunya) by another (Castille). What of then of the oppression of the laborers by their Qatari overlordsIn addition, what is La Roja doing playing the likes of Equatorial Guniea, which is a cesspool of political oppression? FInally, what are German firms doing business with Qatar? It is one thing for the Germans to castigate Putin. But is it wrong for German companies to do business with another oppressive entity Qatar. I think so. Or am I talking rubbish when I argue that footballing entities must have a moral clause in their business dealings? Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 14 hours ago Max Karakul · Top Commenter · Works at Third Federal

soccer is a business, and morals will always take a back seat to profit. that said, businesses should (and usually do) have ethics, and it's fifa's lack of ethics that concerns me more than any moral concerns. Reply · Like · 13 hours ago Deron White · Follow · Owner-Operator at Get Going Solutions, LLC

By the standards of Qatar, I'm wealthy, by the standards of the US merely middle class. I'm sure Qatar will deliver beautiful stadiums and a successful world cup, but the game is for the people and the people of Qatar who built the stadiums will be safely kept away. Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago Vikram Peters · Top Commenter

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but by Qatari standards you are not wealthy. You are probably middle class. Why? The oil fields in Qatar makes sure that the Qataris do not have to toil at a desk job. The foreigners do it for them: engineers, nurses, doctors, maids and laborers. Reply · 2 · Like · 14 hours ago Top Commenter

Shaun Davis ·

I think you have the wealthy middle class thing backwards..clearly you commented without information Reply · Like · 14 hours ago Brian Murray · Reply · Top Commenter · Somerville, Massachusetts

I think you need a refresher on Middle East politics and wealth. You are far from wealthy in Qatar. 1 · Like · 2 hours ago

Judd Austin III · Legal Grunt at Henry Oddo Austin & Fletcher, P.C. Wow - sounds like Qatar paid a golden bar per word for this story. Unethical dribble. Did the writer even leave the comforts of the hotel? Did he see the working conditions? Garbage. Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago

Victor Gusila ·

Top Commenter · Chisinau, Moldova

The problem with the ban on alcohol is that the Muslim values are imposed on everyone else, and most of the world just happens to think that imprisoning people for having a drink and sharing a kiss with your girlfriend on the street is barbaric. Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 18 hours ago Abuchi Orji · Follow · London, United Kingdom

yes it is wrong, but if u cannot avoid alcohol for one month/kissing ur girlfriend in public (which u probably will break up d following week). STAY AT HOME Reply · Craig Self Abuchi Orji Exactly, and most people likely will. Reply · 4 · Like · 16 hours ago Top Commenter · BCIT School of Business 4 · Like · 17 hours ago

Daniel Fowler · Reply · View 2 more

Craig Self I agree, hopefully everyone will avoid this World Cup! 2 · Like · 16 hours ago

Michael Joseph Plaziuk To be honest, I have more an inkling to attend this Event, in Qatar, than, say Russia. I believe it will be a showcase and well worth being there. JOE Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 19 hours ago

Vic Vasquez · Seattle University Take this down! What a mess you've made for yourselves. The worldwide leader in unethical journalism? Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago

Leena Chandrabala · Tengku Mahmood-Goon College if they are so smart and rich, bringing sports to dizzying heights, but bringing humanity to the other extreme end Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 17 hours ago Top Commenter · AFTRS - Australian Film Television and Radio School

Paul Butler · Reply ·

It's a corruption watershed, anything goes, each for themselves, leadership of the most vile kind. 1 · Like · Follow Post · 18 hours ago

Chuck Newell · Works at Notre Dame High School "Give Qatar a chance to shine"? How about we give them a chance to build stadiums without slavery. Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 14 hours ago Seth Valentine · Urbana, Illinois What a shill: http://deadspin.com/espn-writer-takes-all-expenses-paid-trip-to-qatar-love-1469590906?utm_campaign= socialflow_deadspin_facebook&utm_source=deadspin_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow Reply · Like · 44 minutes ago Evan Adrian · Reply · Follow · Senior Content Manager at Bleacher Report

Well, this is bad. Like, really, really bad. Shameful stuff. 1 · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago

Shawn Khalilian · Tuscaloosa, Alabama Great article. Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago Anton Pillay · University of Cape Town The investigative team that exposed the systematic abuse of workers' rights deserves praise, but it's the subsequent fevered reaction from other less objective keyboards that has turned the issue so sour, obscuring the potential advantages and positives that this event might spawn -- still a substantial eight years in the distance" gratifying human rights absues. PHILL BALL..... Reply · Like · Follow Post · 11 hours ago Jasim Khan · American British Academy thanks Phil, as an American who's enjoyed staying in the Middle East for decades it's good to read balanced opinion pieces like this one Reply · Like · Follow Post · 43 minutes ago Lawrence Wisne · Software Architect at Peek To recap: Enslaving hundreds of thousands of people is not a big deal as long as you can make great powerpoint presentations and give reporters free vacations. Also, stop wanting to have a drink during the world's biggest sporting event, you slob. Reply · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago Judd Austin III · Legal Grunt at Henry Oddo Austin & Fletcher, P.C. Salvage your journalistic integrity, Ball, and find out what REALLY happened during the bidding process.. Reply · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago Robert Hodgins · University of Manitoba This is probably the first time I've ever asked for a writer to be fired for something. There have been more egregious stories I've read, worse cases of journalistic hubris and ignorance, but this is bad and should never have seen the light of day. Reply · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago View 15 more
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