Before Morocco threw its hat in the ring, there was only America. MAGA appears to be the name of the game anywhere you look these days. Make America Great Again everywhere and anywhere. As long as the US profit and their competitors eat sand (or salt water or rocks – you choose), all is good in Trump’s special democracy.
First there was the “United” Bid for 2026, which includes the USA, the USA, the USA, the USA and Mexico and Canada. And the USA. If anybody in his right mind thinks that much Trump-hated Mexico will still be part of the deal once even that US president of theirs really understands that “Mexico will not pay for your fuckn wall” (direct quote of former Mexican President Vicente Fox’ tweet), is probably just a bit delusional. Behind closed doors it was always clear – and discussed – that the USA needed a smokescreen to win the Bid, and the best such screen was determined to be a JV with those two “partners” who are presently engaged in a fierce fight over the NAFTA deal (“the worst trade deal in history”, as Trump calls it – but then any trade deal is the “worst ever” if US predominance is not your in-your-face winner).
The US Bid is in overdrive: whilst it is obviously against all regulations and FIFA bidding rules for a bidder to smear a competitor, there seem to be sufficiently large numbers of media that are suddenly finding fault with just about anything Morocco does, wants to do or is not doing half as well as the greatest nation on earth.
This medium has reported about the oddities that FIFA have invented at a very late stage (and which were undisclosed, no matter what tune they fiddle) and ever-new problems appear to be plaguing poor Morocco.
What many are forgetting is that Morocco is one of the most stable countries in Africa, and that its Kings have a centuries-old tradition to employ a particular type of adviser: Jewish citizens of Morroco, who have done much good and offered solid advice to the country’s rulers over the decades to stay out of as many problematic issues and conflicts as possible. Considering the rampant anti-semitism in many countries around the world – and some African/Arab countries of course included – it is an aspect worth mentioning: Jews and Arabs living in comfortable harmony, certainly better than those in Palestine or Israel itself.
Instead, ever-new and very important facts appear to be cropping up, sullying the Moroccan Bid. The country’s laws forbid homosexuality, which means that a minority is treated worse than others are. Not good, agreed. But to change that, will take longer than what a World Cup can deliver – yet let’s not forget that the Catholic Church continues not only to frown upon homosexuality but for hundreds of years any homosexual conduct was strictly sanctioned – and worse.
And here’s the problem: while innumerable US Christians – evangelists and above all televangelists – continue to label homosexuality as a curse and aberration, the farther right one tilts, the worse is the fate not only of homosexuals in the US but of the entire LGBT community. That’s a fact, yet nobody appears to be mentioning it, and I have not seen in in any FIFA report that would have criticized the USA about its treatment of the LGBT community in far too many US States. Visit the Bible Belt States, review Utah’s Mormon positions or park your mind in the Midwest: the hatred for anything that is not mainstream and right-wing is rampant and the more right-wing extreme or supremacist the community you visit, the worse off are Members of the LGBT universe. Right here. In the USA.
But if one casts a stone or two and attacks Morocco – who are trying for the fifth time to win a Bid – over its treatment of one specific minority, one shouldn’t be blind to the minority issues that – in particular embraced by THIS US president – are far worse in sheer numbers alone than any homophobic laws in a small country could possibly be.
If we talk minority protection and equality, we must highlight the rampant white supremacist smut preached by the US president and the braindead cohorts who follow his madness. There is hardly a week – or a few days – that goes by without the fatal shooting of of a black kid youth whose crime was to be walking their streets. Where cops seem to stop and search for no reason, and too often use their weapons to lethal effect, unarmed young black men are well advised to go out without carrying a cell-phone or a teddy bear or anything that a white cop could construe to be a lethal weapon.
If FIFA find fault with Morocco’s laws that forbid homosexuality, then FIFA must also highlight the plight of a 40-million-strong black minority that is larger than the entire population of Morocco (approx. 35 million inhabitants), and directly affected as a whole, daily, by racism. In 2018, the USA has a president who was elected by people who care little about his moral turpitudes but believe strongly that he will deliver the MAGA saga. With coal mines reopening (no they don’t), with protectionist policies (yes, they are) and with daily Twitter tirades that attack just about anybody who doesn’t share his views.
Although Trump won’t be in office in 2026 as a result of term limits, he’ll most likely be around for the better part of the build-up phase. I doubt not that he will boast about how the Greatest Nation in the World, the Only World Leader, has beaten an African shithole country (Trump’s words not mine) to pulp, after Infantino manipulates Morocco out of any likelihood of winning the Bid.
That’s how the cookie crumbles.
James Dostoyevsky is a Washington-based observer of politics and sports. He can be contacted at moc.l1652697685labto1652697685ofdlr1652697685owedi1652697685sni@o1652697685fni1652697685