World If the US boycotts the 2022 Olympics, it should also skip the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Beijing's 2008 Olympics were a soft power victory for China, but 2022 may be another story
As the sound of fireworks rang out over Beijing to mark the close of the 2008 Summer Olympics, China's leaders could have been forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief. © Ezra Shaw/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images A welcome message is displayed during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Remembered today as an event in which record-breaking sporting achievements were matched only by the spectacular pageantry and organization of the Games, the success of the Beijing Olympics was no sure thing.
Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley recently joined a growing list of Republican lawmakers who want the United States to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Haley's opposition to the games is not only justified but something other countries would be smart to follow.
“President Xi Jinping wants the propaganda boost of the games,” shein an op-ed. “He remembers well the widespread praise China received after hosting the Summer Olympics in 2008. Symbolism matters, and if the United States and other free nations participate in Beijing 2022, the Chinese Communist Party will claim it as further proof of China’s good global standing and world leadership.”
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These Olympics have been cast as a symbol of mankind's resiliency and triumph over COVID. Shame on all of us if Tokyo's own domestic fatigue and general apathy from the rest of the world sinks this crowning human moment. Japan, more than any other developed country, is uniquely capable of hosting these Olympics—especially as China waits in the wings to pull off its own Winter Olympics six months later, writing the narrative of its rise from COVID villain to hero.
And while Haley is right that the U.S. needs to boycott these games, the country needs to go further. The U.S. should also boycott another global sporting event that same year: the. FIFA is the International Federation of Association Football, the highest international governing body for the sport we call soccer.
Thehas rightfully received significant attention because the country is a major adversary to the U.S. It’s a country that puts , bears for the more than 2.5 million deaths caused by the coronavirus pandemic, has , and has factories that put up because working conditions are so bad.
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We must not give Qatar a pass either — for reasons that appeal both to conservatives and liberals.
Qatar's preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup shows that it has little regard for human life. Since being awarded the rights to the event back in 2010, the country has been working on infrastructure to accommodate it, including stadiums. A recentshows that more than 6,500 migrant construction workers have died so far while working on these projects.
These are people from countries such as India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The report says that an average of 12 workers per week from those five countries have died in the past 10 years. This report does not even include migrant workers from the Philippines and Kenya, nor does it include the final months of 2020 or the first two months of 2021.
Additionally, there is evidence that Qatar is usingon these projects. The U.S. should have no part in legitimizing a country that does such things.
South Korea short track star reportedly bids to skate for China at Beijing Olympics
The world's top short track speed skater, after a one-year suspension, wants to switch from South Korea to China for the Beijing Winter Olympics.Lim, who earned South Korea’s first gold medal of the PyeongChang Olympics in the 1500m, completed a Chinese naturalization process and left for that country to train with the Chinese program, according to South Korean media citing Lim’s agency.
Not to mention, many argue that Qatar is a state sponsor of terrorism. For example, during the last decade, Qatar, which the U.S. used to consider a terrorist organization. And in the Syrian civil war, Qatar supports rebels who want to oust leader Bashar Assad; one of those groups it has supported, however, is , which the U.S. .
And if we need any help convincing others that the U.S. should have no part in Qatar’s World Cup, consider some of the country’s policies. Homosexuality, domestic violence and marital rape are , and unmarried adult women need a male parent’s permission to travel out of the country.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that the administrationwhen it comes to the 2022 Olympics. Hopefully, when she eventually circles back to it, the Biden White House does the right thing not only with the Olympics, but also with the World Cup.
Tom Joyce () is a freelance writer who has been published with USA Today, the Boston Globe, Newsday, ESPN, the Detroit Free Press, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Federalist, and a number of other media outlets.
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