The recent Qatar World Cup final was apparently one of the best ever matches to grace the competition, although sadly I forgot it was even on.

Nonetheless, it’s hard to argue that the surrounding setup was anything other than a moral disaster.

Described by the Guardian’s Barney Ronay as ‘the most costly, carbon-heavy, bloodstained, corruption-shadowed event in the history of global sport’, the honour of hosting it was granted to an authoritarian government that routinely enables the abuse of human rights.

There are essentially no LGBT rights in Qatar, with prison sentences handed out for engaging in “homosexual practices”. Even just existing can lead to imprisonment, beating and harassment from the security forces. Anti LGBT legislation was followed to the almost-comical-if-it-wasn’t-real extent that you weren’t allowed to wear rainbow coloured clothes to the match.

The event’s multiple new stadiums and surrounding infrastructure were built in literally deadly workplace conditions involving near slavery in many instances.

The environmental damage is also likely to be absurdly huge, despite the incredible amount of greenwashing.

It’s particularly upsetting to reflect on the point that perhaps all this isn’t a weird aberration. The fact Qatar was selected as the host made the associated horror show particularly visible and disturbing. But, unfortunately, abusing desperate humans alongside the climate that sustains us all in order to put on a massively profitable and image-enhancing show is far more universal than that.

Back to Ronay’s article :

Qatar didn’t invent this world, didn’t invent migrant labour, didn’t invent global capitalism. It is simply the most zealous of late adopters, selling brutal carbon-fed hyper-capitalism back to the world in its final form

The whole event has the same ethos of “hardcore capitalism eating itself” that most cryptocurrency efforts to date often inspire in me. With that technology we burn the planet in order to enforce artificial scarcity over a made-up construct with the predictable outcome of further exacerbating chronic wealth inequality.