The first matches did not extinguish the controversies. This World Cup continues to be the most controversial in history, with every day bringing its share of criticism. As The world has shown in its investigations, the problem does not date from today, the evils are old and deep. Beyond the articles, a book helps to decipher them and to better understand how this emirate could have been designated to host the most popular of sports competitions. His title : Qatar 2022, the other country of football. Ninety-six instructive and incisive pages, illustrated in an original way.
Editions En Exergue, a small house specializing in the publication of quality works on sport, had the idea of associating an author and a cartoonist. The first is Alain Leiblang, a former journalist, who has the particularity of having worked for a long time at FIFA, the omnipotent “government” of the football planet – he was even press chief for the 1998 World Cup in France and a time collaborator of Michel Platinum. As for the designer, it is Gabriel de Dieuleveult, alias Gab, who knows nothing about this sport and takes an openly trashy look at the subject. Result: a book that is both educational and unfiltered.
Infantino does not come out unscathed
Beyond the very particular editorial concept, the work is especially worthy of the evocation, by Alain Leiblang, behind the scenes of FIFA. Freed from his duty of reserve (he left FIFA at the end of 2014), aware of the excesses of his favorite sport, he looks back on how certain members of FIFA have maneuvered for the benefit of Qatar. His story, brief but eloquent, plunges us into the mysteries of this organization. It’s all there: financial calculations, influence games, dismissals, contempt for the public and ethical issues.
We measure well, to read it, to what extent the staff of FIFA has neglected the warning signs, masked the too negative elements. Alain Leiblang refers in particular, ironically, to the content of the 2014 internal report which cleared Qatar of suspicions of corruption. The current boss of the federation, Gianni Infantino, does not come out unscathed. The reader thus learns that he has lived with his family in Qatar since the beginning of the year. “Did he want to get closer to migrant workers? Has he taken his trowel? », asks Leiblang, suddenly as caustic as his sidekick Gab. This unpretentious book will not change the course of history, nor that of this badly born World Cup, but it has the merit of underlining certain truths.
Qatar 2022, the other country of football (96 pages, 15 euros, En Exergue Editions)