Last Saturday August 5th, the Paris St Germain’s fans were let down. The star that cost them 263 million euros couldn’t shine at the Parc de Princes Stadium against the Amiens, because the CTI (International Transfer Certificate) was not registered the eve before the game to finalize the transfer process.
After reading sports articles of American, Colombian, British and Spanish magazines, the majority highlighted in their headlines the “immorality” of Neymar’s price tag. Nonetheless, what morality in terms of money can be expected from Qatar, the richest country in the world and owner of the PSG? According to data from the 2017 Forbes report, the GDP of the Persian Golf state is $130,000 a year.
The fact that six Greek Islands can be purchased with the price of his transfer, in my opinion is incomprehensible, but not immoral. Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, more than a human being, is a product that generates millions of revenue for his team and sponsors. Besides, is not like he is doing it for charity, but for a multi-million compensation.
What I do consider immoral is that the Paris St Germain, the cherished team of the country famous for its values of “Freedom, equality and fraternity” is property of an Arab state which is high up on the 2017 Human Rights Watch Report due to serious and repeated violations.
Neymar’s new bosses live in a world in which women are worth and have less rights than a goat. If their husbands or guardians hit them or rape them, the actions are not criminalized by the penal code. And in the case of adultery or extra-marital sexual relations, single women are flogged and the married sentenced to death.
On a different note, Qatar’s population is 2.1 million, but less than 10% are born there. The rest of the residents are immigrants from Asia and Africa who take the hundreds of thousands of jobs in domestic labor and construction.
Currently, the construction of the stadiums and other infrastructure needed for the FIFDA World Cup 2022 is the magnet that attracts millions of people in search for the high wages. However, according to the report, these jobs are nothing less than slavery, all under the approval of Qatar’s immigration system known as kafala.
The complaints about employers refer mostly to the withholding of passports, late payment of wages or no payment at all, exploitation, inhumane living conditions, and even physical and sexual abuse. Moreover, if an employee wants to take another job, he or she can only do so is the current boss provides a “No Objection Certificate.”
So, I ask again, what is immoral? The contract value? Who offers it? Who takes it? Like the saying goes “money talks” and Qatar knows this well.
From the moment the little oil rich giant decided to sponsor radical terrorist groups, such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, it became the despised neighbor in the region. The monarchies of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates closed their borders and froze diplomatic ties causing crisis in different sectors of Qatar’s economy.
Hence, by buying into soccer–the universal language–and their traditional institutions, Qatar acquires the perfect disguise to promote a positive image of “Fair Play” around the world. And it will continue to do so as long as there are fans who are willing to pay $106 for Neymar’s home jersey and $196 for the away one.
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