ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
In scenes reminiscent of the infamous video of celebrities singing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ to the unwashed masses in the early days of the pandemic, the nation’s soccer heroes have come together ahead of the FIFA World Cup to put the host city-state of Qatar on blast for their human rights abuses.
Players from our national European-rules football team, the Socceroos, posted a touch black and white video to the side’s official social media accounts that called out Qatar for using indentured servitude and outright slavery to build their world cup stadiums.
A report released this afternoon from the The Institute Of International Morality Studies (TIIMS) has found the overwhelming reaction to the video was ‘cringe’ and ’embarrassment’.
The report suggests that Australians and our flimsy government are not ones to be lecturing other nations about human rights abuses, considering earlier this week some UN inspectors were turned away from an NSW Prison because they would’ve seen a few things.
On top of that most recent example, the report’s author has outlined some other facts.
“Australians, in terms of human rights abuses, live in a house where even the floor is made of glass,” said TIIMS chairperson Professor Clark Bowmore.
“Sure, just because things are bad here doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be shining a light on other things, such as the quite obvious human rights abuses that have gone on in Qatar. But it kind of comes off a bit sanctimonious,”
“Aboriginal people have the lowest life expectancy of any Indigenous population in the world. The UN said that. We hold genuine refugees in overseas prison camps. We turn boats around in the open ocean. We do a lot of bad shit. Half of these players are paid to play in leagues run by nations like Qatar. I mean, where do you draw the line? I’m not saying we shouldn’t be highlighting things overseas, we should, it’s just things here are bad and they need highlighting and fixing just as much,”
“It also doesn’t help that the last time soccer was in the headlines was about supporters doing Nazi stuff. It takes the sting out of whatever criticisms they have.”
The Advocate reaches out to Soccer Australia for comment but has yet to receive a reply.
More to come.