Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Fifa President Gianni Infantino at the World Cup opening game
IMAGO/Moritz Mueller / IMAGO/Moritz Mueller
One can only congratulate the Emir of Qatar and his ruling clique.
The approximately $200 billion for the soccer World Cup (plus bribes) was money well spent.
The men got what they hoped for.
The calculation worked.
Until recently, Qatar was a pariah state even in parts of the Arab world.
Now the country stands as a celebrated host that people like to visit.
The belief that money can buy anything is also strengthened.
Be it a World Cup, be it a kicking advertising pillar like Paris Saint-Germain with football stars like Messi, Mbappé or Neymar.
Be it advocates in the West or in the European Parliament.
It's all a question of money.
Anyone who, like the Germans, spoiled the party by criticizing the host was laughed at.
The gesture in a sports program on Qatari television was symptomatic of this.
The experts gathered there mockingly waved after the Germans after the national team's departure and covered their mouths - in reference to the German players who had covered their mouths in protest against the autocrat-friendly Fifa.
The bottom line was that the Germans looked like the big idiots of the tournament.
Many Qataris and their allies in the Arab world have accused German politicians, officials, journalists and even the players of acting in a gesture of moral superiority.
In addition, they were traveling with a good portion of double standards.
On the first point, arrogance is never helpful, but should one feel inferior to a regime that is said to fund terror and oppress minorities?
That hundreds of thousands of guest workers from poorer countries are often treated like slaves, whether in their own homes or on the country's many construction sites?
Threatening gays and lesbians with imprisonment?
With respect for other customs, according to the motto: other countries, other customs?
No, this is not about local customs or cultural customs.
It's about human rights violations, about crimes that should be denounced.
Football here, World Cup here.
The accusation of double standards, on the other hand, is unfortunately quite justified.
Maybe you shouldn't go to a party where you tell everyone else it should never have happened.
And perhaps one should not beg for gas at the same time from a state that one criticizes harshly.
Perhaps one should simply not do business with cliques of rulers who think they can buy anything and trample on human rights.
And don't go to their sports festivals either.
Then the accusation of double standards would come to nothing.
And those who should actually be ashamed would have less reason to sneer.