Sunday, December 07, 2014

07-Dec-14: World's richest country again reminds us what that means in practice

A year ago, Times of Israel reported that swimming’s governing body, FINA, gave a formal warning to Qatari officials for "disrespecting Israeli swimmers at World Cup events". FINA's executive director Cornel Marculescu said at the time to Associated Press that the Qatar organizing committee had apologized for a "stupid" incident that had prompted Israel’s team, competing in the swimming competition, to protest at the deliberate removal by the Qatari hosts of Israel's flag and name in the television coverage.

FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation), the governing body of international swimming events, bars discrimination based on "political opinion," according to its website (says Huffington Post).

Marculescu said the problem was resolved with the Qataris. "Next year we have the World Championships and these things will not happen anymore", he stated with admirable confidence.

Qatar, October 2013: Flags for all competitors except for the one from
the un-named Zionist entity [Image Source]
The reference to "next year" was to the 2014 World Short-Course Swimming Championships in Qatar.

Well, next year is here, and those championships are underway right now. And guess what happened when Israeli champion and former Olympian Guy Barnea won his heat of the 200-meters butterfly in respectful, non-discriminatory Qatar? As the image and report in an Haaretz article today show:

Qatar, December 2014: Guy Barnea of "ISR" wins
the winning swimmer's national flag somehow lost its central feature, the Star of David:

Last year's "disrespect" of Israeli competitors and national sensitivities produced a sharp response from, as far as we can tell, only Israeli and Jewish quarters like the ADL. Virtually nothing came from other participating countries.

The Qatari "apology" touted by the man from FINA turns out to have been meaningless, with the benefit of hindsight. In view of the same puerile stunt from the same puerile organizers, it's to be expected that the same apathy will be on show this time round. It's lose-lose for all concerned.

Recall that Qatar is the designated host of football's 2022 FIFA World Cup, probably the most-watched sporting event there is, and this despite a long list of complaints, controversies and problems that accompanied its campaign to be selected for the honour. Those problems continue to cast a certain cloud over the process but no one in Qatar appears overly worried as far as we can tell.

Which is strange when you think about it. What is it that makes the Qataris so sure of themselves and immune from criticism and review apart from their being, per capita, by far the richest country on earth [see "30-Jul-14: Is Qatar's stupendous wealth connected with Hamas' ongoing terrorism?"]. A bit of a puzzle, no?

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Qatarians might be in for an eventual crash for which they'll not be prepared. A foundation based on here today, gone tomorrow wealth is a flimsy one. Just today in another news item it was reported that nations are considering ending the use of fossil fuels. What will be the source of Qatar's wealth then? It might be a generation or so away, but the end of their wealthy position WILL come. It's inevitable.