If you missed the BBC opening to the Qatar World Cup that aired in the United Kingdom, it’s important to watch it. Whether you’re a soccer fan or not, it shows what happens when you don’t have a nation state sponsoring a TV network’s coverage.
As you may know, the backdrop of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been marred with controversy.
Many of the stories before the curtain raiser between Qatar and Ecuador have focused on migrant worker deaths and LGBTQ+ rights.
Therefore, it was interesting to watch the contrast in reporting between different broadcasters before the start of the much-awaited tournament.
BBC introductory coverage
Presenter Gary Lineker’s opening words for the BBC immediately addressed the concerns on human rights in the gulf nation.
The former England striker and host for the BBC was straight to point, calling the tournament the most controversial in recent memory.
He said, “Ever since FIFA chose Qatar back in 2010, the smallest nation to host football’s greatest competition has faced some big questions.”
Lineker was on point as there have been numerous accusations of corruption in Qatar’s bid for the World Cup.
Moreover, homosexuality is banned while women’s rights are also in the spotlight. The BBC pundit went to say, “Against that backdrop, there is a tournament to be played here that will be watched and enjoyed around the world. Stick to football say FIFA, well we will for a couple of minutes at least.”
BBC opening Qatar World Cup different than FOX Sports
The opening by the BBC, which added important context to the tournament being hosted in Qatar, was in stark contrast to FOX Sports. For instance, FOX Sports lavished praise on the organizers on hosting the first-ever World Cup in a Middle Eastern country.
The clip below is just a small glimpse at the nauseating way that FOX Sports mentioned only the positive aspects of the Qatar nation, while refusing to address any of the controversies.
Meanwhile, FOX Sports rival Telemundo Deportes were very honest and transparent in their coverage. So much so, that we feel Telemundo deserves credit for speaking out about Qatar 2022.
It is projected that the Qataris have spent close to $220 billion, which is close to 15 times what Russia spent for organizing the tournament in 2018.
Earlier in the day, the BBC also ran this piece that delved deeper into the issues that are plaguing Qatar.
While its evident that BBC have been taken up the issues on geopolitical issues head on, FOX Sports seem to shy away from the issues at hand.
It is interesting to note that Qatar Airways, the host country’s state-owned airline is a major sponsor of FOX’s coverage, meaning most of what viewers will see on FOX could be influenced in some manner.
The partnership between the airline and network dates from last year, when Qatar Airways announced a partnership with Concacaf. The international airline was also FOX’s primary sponsor of its 2021 Gold Cup coverage, including signage on its studio set.
Photo credit: IMAGO / Action Plus
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