If you are
planning to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar starting next week, you may
find that you enjoy the games…but not much else. An official memo on the U.K.
government’s Foreign Travel Advice website is warning fans traveling to watch the global soccer
championship not to bring with them certain items that are banned in the predominantly
Muslim country, lest they end up in prison. The memo states: “Importing
drugs, alcohol, pornography, pork products and religious books and material
into Qatar is illegal.”
The memo also notes that “Swearing and making rude
gestures are considered obscene acts and offenders can be jailed and/or
deported,” and adds, “Take particular care when dealing with the police and
But that’s not all. The memo cautions
potential World Cup attendees that "Any
intimacy in public between men and women (including between teenagers) can lead
But even that’s not all. The Foreign Travel Advice website warns:
"You should dress modestly when in public, including while driving. Women
must cover their shoulders and avoid wearing short skirts. Both men and women
are advised not to wear shorts or sleeveless tops when going to government
buildings, health care facilities, or malls."
No alcohol, pornography, or pork? Are you kidding me? How could you make the event
any less attractive? Alcohol, pornography, and pork (APP) should be a
restaurant or convenience-store if not a government department. If I were
president, I would eliminate both NEAs, the DHS, and the FBI if it meant
making room for the APP.
To put things in the proper perspective, while you can’t bring
booze or sexy things into Qatar, you are free to chant “Death to Israel” and
make grossly disparaging remarks about Jews. Or to stone a homosexual.
What if the tables were turned? What if a Western nation, when
next hosting the World Cup, were to ban fans from bringing keffiyehs, hijabs
and falafels with them? What if, say, the Netherlands demanded that those
attending soccer’s biggest event drink Heineken and take in a peepshow in the
I guess the likes of England, France and Brazil won’t be
bringing home the bacon, regardless of how well they play.
Oh well, f**ck it…and pass the vodka.
To paraphrase what Winston Churchill once said of British Labor
politician Stafford Cripps, “Qatar has all the virtues I dislike and none of
the vices I admire.”