Gaddafi Disses the World Cup

FIFA is a rather poor target for embittered post-colonial theorists trying to attack the “hegemony” of Europe and America. Football is among the most democratic of all sports: where else would you see the USA and Japan humbled by various third world powerhouses? Even the very best European teams (ie. Germany) will struggle against the likes of Brazil and Argentina. But this doesn’t stop Muammar Gaddafi from trying:

The match of 1970 led to war between Honduras and Salvador with 30,000 killed or wounded and that wound will never coalesce. Then it became an exploiting economic embezzling venture in lieu of an entertaining sport one… The FIFA reactivated the system of slavery and enslavement and trading in human beings from Africa to Europe and America; and also from Latin America to Europe. This degradation is taking place against real young people just because they are poor and because they are from poor African or Latin and sometime Asian states… [H]osting needs stadiums with specified standards not available at most of the world states. They are available only in the rich states. It needs infrastructure and most of the states of the world especially the third world ones, are suffering of the poor infrastructure such as communications, transportations, airports, harbors and hotels etc. this naturally made the hosting of the world cup a monopoly of the rich states. As such the FIFA is international yet not the property of the peoples.” – Muammar Gaddafi, on his website.

It seems fair to say that Gaddafi is completely frickin’ nuts. Not just in terms of the content of his statement – seriously, FIFA promotes human slavery? – but in terms of the underlying strategy behind it. Gaddafi’s long-term political goal is to establish some sort regional hegemony over Africa. This isn’t exactly the sanest goal to begin with, but it’s even crazier to think that he could further it by insulting the World Cup, which is, after all, enjoyed by Africans as much as anyone else.