On the 20th of November, the most controversial World Cup in the history of football begins. Tainted by scandal, corruption, human drama and the vanity of the governing bodies, football is already losing. Without entering the “boycott” debate, the Company Leagues wishes to make its mark and position itself in the opposite direction to the spectrum proposed by the FIFA and the organisers of the biggest sporting event on the planet. A World Cup of all excesses which, more than ever, seems cut off from the world and its realities.
At the Company Leagues, we celebrate grassroots football. The pleasure of playing, of getting together, of hugging a teammate. As universal language and the world’s number one sport, football is one of the strongest channels for spreading positive values.
Unfortunately, it all depends on the intention. And the power of football can also become a vector for abuse. This is what the FIFA authorities have been doing for decades (the World Cup in Qatar is no exception and is a continuation of those that preceded it). What a waste. At a time when the world needs to come together around green, social initiatives and peace. FIFA is offering us the most corrupt, murderous and anti-ecological Cup in its history. What a waste.
The recent debates around the World Cup have sometimes drifted towards an opposition between those who “boycott” it and those who will watch it, thus supporting its organisation. A new division, which the population could have done without. At the Company Leagues, we want to get out of this polarizing and sometimes moralistic debate, from which the supporter and the lover of the emotions of the sport comes out as a big loser.
In view of what is happening in Qatar, everyone is free to feel the way they want to express their revolt. At the Company Leagues, we do not have the resources to change the World Cup. So, we simply want to inspire individuals, sport actors and why not governments to mobilize in their own way. Without wishing to put any brakes on the values of togetherness promoted by sport, here is our way of acting:
- BLACK. During the entire World Cup, the Company Leagues will be in grief. The mourning of a childhood dream embodied by the World Cup, but shattered by FIFA. As a sign of protest, the Company Leagues logo will remain black until the final whistle of the tournament.
- SILENCE. Because silence sometimes says more than words. Before each Company Leagues match, and until the end of the World Cup, the referees will propose to the teams who accept it to respect a minute of silence as a sign of respect to the numerous victims who died on the Qatar’s construction sites.
- LOVE. More than ever, players and supporters, let’s serve as an inspiration for #Sportsingoodcompany by offering a maximum of love on the fields these next weeks!
Are you wondering what difference this makes? It’s a good question, and one that needs to be discussed.
First of all, our vision as a federation is that we should start by spreading the values of sport around us and the participants. Secondly, as a sports organisation, we feel we have a duty to inspire other players, large and small, to take a stand on these issues.
Therefore, we are sending a message to the much more influential institutions, such as the Belgian Football Association, and invite them to also put pressure on the football world with some symbolic, but strong gestures*. We also hope that broadcasters such as RTBF and VRT will do their full part as reporters by not evading any of the realities of the Cup. Finally, we secretly dream of hearing players, the true ambassadors of our sport, take a stand on and off the pitch towards more humanity for the future of football.
While these gestures and words will no longer change the reality of Qatar 2022, they do have a duty to clean up football of its darker aspects and personalities. By guaranteeing that never again the world’s biggest event could be founded on such abuses.
For a month, the whole world will be looking in the same direction. That of the ball. Is there any greater collective opportunity to spread the true messages and values that the planet and humanity needs?
LONG LIVE FOOTBALL
*As an example, Danemark and its equipment supplier decided to play the World Cup with an all-black jersey on which the national federation’s coat of arms is not visible. A sign of protest and disagreement with the organisers.