The damned World Cup kicks off and Qatar is not in any mood to apologise | Barney Ronay

There has been a hardening of the host nation’s attitudes before a tournament shadowed by corruption, suffering and deathUnfurl the faded summer bunting. Crank the thermostat up half a notch. Bask in the yellowy glow from that rectangular screen in the corner of the room. The most divisive, brutal, mindbogglingly corrupt sporting event of the modern age is now upon us. It is time, finally, to Discover Amazing, as the Qatar 2022 Fifa men’s World Cup repeatedly urges the passing traffic on the endless hoardings and fences ringing this city of light and sheer surfaces.On Sunday evening the footballers of Ecuador and Qatar will walk out for the opening game at the Al Bayt stadium. Over the next 29 days Qatar’s eight box-fresh arenas, gleaming glass and steel monuments to the men who died in their construction, will live out their own brief sepulchral lifespans before being dismantled for parts or converted into shopping malls.

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