FanDuel - WFBC

July 15, 2014

How is Qatar building a national team for the 2022 World Cup?: by importing promising children from poor countries. Their families are given stipends and the boys come to live in a beautiful, possibly insane facility ("Across the campus, speakers pipe in the sounds of birds chirping throughout the day.") in hopes of some day making it onto the Qatar-owned team in Belgium. Doubly so since their options, much like those of the people building stadiums for 2022, limited:

Aspire executives were displeased by the departures. "They didnít want us to talk to other agents, they definitely did not," said Tchoutou, who now plays for A.S. Romaís top youth team. But after three years, he decided to leave with their approval or not.

According to one scholarship agreement, the boys pledge not to sign any contract without the written authorization of Aspire. Of the few boys who have left the program, Bleicher said agents approached them secretly and made promises.

posted by yerfatma to soccer at 08:33 AM - 6 comments

Sadly, as John Oliver said recently, football is a religion and no matter how disgusting FIFA are we won't stop rooting and watching our teams. Kind of like carte blanche for douchiness.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:15 AM on July 15

It's good that the players don't seem to be too loyal to playing for Qatar or too loyal to the program when a bigger club in Europe comes calling. I guess in a perfect world, FIFA would accredit or otherwise regulate these forms of international academies, as what they do can be pretty close to the definition of labour trafficking.

Still, it's not so different from private schools in New Zealand offering scholarships to promising teenagers from the Pacific to play rugby for the school. Ask a Kiwi about this and they get all high and mighty about what a wonderful country they are to provide education to such underprivileged kids. However if you're smart, from Tonga but can't play rugby, I guess you miss out.

posted by owlhouse at 02:14 AM on July 17

It's too bad Qatar can't just take the best players from the countries that have zero chance of qualifying and make them citizens for six weeks. That would be an interesting team.

posted by rcade at 08:27 AM on July 17

It's too bad Qatar can't just take the best players from the countries that have zero chance of qualifying and make them citizens for six weeks. That would be an interesting team.

If you were to take the best player from the top 23 ranked teams that haven't competed in the last three World Cups, then you'd have the following nations to choose from (current world rank):

Romania 28
Venezuela 30
Turkey 32
Panama 33
Egypt 36
Hungary 38
Armenia 41
Austria 43
Wales 44
Iceland 47
Guinea 51
Uzbekistan 52
Finland 55
Jordan 57
Burkina Faso 58
Peru 59
Mali 60
Senegal 62
Libya 63
Sierra Leone 64
United Arab Emirates 65
Albania 67
Israel 67

Side note: Holy fuck, Canada! 118th?! I am disappoint.

posted by grum@work at 11:55 AM on July 17

If you really wanted to be restrictive and say only from teams outside the top 100 AND have never made the World Cup at any time, then your list of twenty-three countries would be:

Moldova
Latvia
Lithuania
Bahrain
Tanzania
Luxembourg
Rwanda
Ethiopia
Equatorial Guinea
Namibia
Mozambique
Sudan
Liberia
Central African Republic
Lebanon
Malawi
Aruba
Tajikistan
Dominican Republic
Burundi
Kazakhstan
Philippines
Afghanistan

posted by grum@work at 12:22 PM on July 17

I think it would be great for Qatar to recruit and play an Israeli.

In fact, I'm secretly hoping both Israel and Iran qualify for 2022.

posted by owlhouse at 08:59 PM on July 17

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