Loving Football, But Hating FIFA: John Oliver’s Hilarious Take on FIFA 2014

The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off tonight as hosts Brazil take on Croatia for the first group game in São Paulo. The excitement is palpable and even here in India, most of us have had conversations on game timings and how we’re going to keep up as many of the games will be on at 1am IST.

An event of this magnitude that has the entire world watching must come with its own set of scandals and shady dealings. After the IPL scams and BCCI scandals (which are yet to be resolved), we as a cricket-loving nation are quite familiar with the fact that where there is intense passion and an audience, there is tons of money to be made. Enter corporate greed. This video by one of our current favourite talk show hosts, John Oliver, is an eye-opener.

Oliver points out the irony that a sport that brings people together and is treated as a religion is also used to perpetuate corruption and exploitation. Not only has FIFA managed to ‘negotiate’ with the Brazilian government to overturn laws that do not condone consumption of liquor in stadiums (Budweiser is a key sponsor), but they have managed to get them to waive a tax bill of what would have been more than US$200m owed by FIFA to the government.

FIFA 2022, which is due to take place in Qatar (go figure!), is seeing major exploitation of migrant workers from India and Nepal. Reports say that more than 4,000 workers will have lost their lives before a ball is kicked in 2022. And as we speak, protests continue in Brazil against the large scale and questionable spending by the government to host a major tournament which will leave little in economic gains behind.

Are you feeling as conflicted  when it comes to the World Cup as we are? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter or comment below.

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