Virtue signalling while doing dirty deals with Qatar
The West does hypocrisy like no other.
And it’s quite brilliant at virtue signalling too, as it happens.
This has been the biggest takeaway in the last fourteen days of football in the Middle East.
Try as hard as we might to say that it is nothing about the visceral hatred of the other in the West, we all know that in the end that it comes down to the view that the Europe and America is best and the rest of the world is morally inferior.
So why have I written this?
This western (central) European nation brought Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Volkswagen to the world and it has also given us so much carnage and damage that a lifetime of image laundering can never expunge.
However hard it tries, Germany will forever be seen as the country which gave us Adolf Hitler (even though he was born and raised in Austria) and the worst kind of genocidal fascism that humankind has seen and will ever see.
Coming into the world cup, Germany, just like the United Kingdom and the United States were quite critical of Qatar’s homophobia and had elected to make a stand by having the captain of the football team wear an armband showing its support for the LGBTQQ community.
The football governing body — FIFA —warned the German soccer team that they would be penalized if they went ahead with wearing the arm band supporting gay rights.
And the threat of being sanctioned led the German soccer team to do something else instead: cover their mouths in protests.
For a minute or two, the image of a leading European team standing up for the rights of the LGBTQQ community did capture the imagination of the world, but we must ask why weren’t they supportive of one of their best players in the last thirty years — Mesut Ozil — when he protested the violent racism that he was subjected to in the aftermath of Germany’s exit from the world cup in 2018?
But what makes this German episode more sordid wasn’t what took place on the pitch, but what took place behind closed doors.