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FIFA World Cup 2014 & Human Rights

FIFA World Cup 2014 & Human Rights
Written by Parnal Vats

I am not even the least shameful to directly admit that I know zilch about football or the World Cup or Spain. I might not be a football maniac or a regular prude “Red Devil” but I feel the intense passion and zest all football fans share.

How many of us know about the incessant human rights violations the World Cup is causing? No, not the endless chain of updates on your homepage- though they qualify to hurt humanity too but no. But let’s face it- while all the players and fanatics dip themselves in the glory and cheer, there are many who might be relocated and conveniently pushed aside because of the World Cup. Allow me to elaborate how. For starters, the Brazilian government spent north of 11 billion dollars to host this world cup. Besides being the highest amount ever expended on any world cup, it is also an amount so huge that if it was spent on people- it would provide for countless meals and shelters to the lakhs of homeless wanderers. The country offers a dozen of areas where the money seems to be much needed. This blind splurging would never have been a big problem if the economic conditions of Brazil were promising enough. Roughly 16% of Brazil still lives in poverty. That was irony’s first slap on your face.

To add, thousands of people were relocated hastily, just to make way for temporary practice areas. I don’t really think even if they were fans, they would want to trade their homes for the world cup (I hear rising shouts of the many football freaks I know- snubbing me with claims that they CAN sell their life for football yadda yadda). I still doggedly believe that broken roads, poor children, homeless families, inept classrooms and inefficient hospitals are screaming for a little attention here. A similar situation arose in 1978 in Argentina where after much unwarranted delay did the world get to know about people being physically tortured for making possible the World Cup back then.

Every sport be it Tennis or Football or Tennis (I lover tennis) has a peculiar quality of totally perpetrating the minds of the spectator- in a beautiful way. We experience hope, exhilaration, nationalism, joy of an unimaginable magnitude. It is most definitely nothing but a sport that actually needs to be credited for creating a sense of communion of all sorts. Can anything else both unite and dissever us with such ease? We all can soak in the beauty of sports and rattle on but can we let human rights be overshadowed in that process? I fear not. All you fans may choose to surpass the issue conveniently but if you or me were at the receiving end of the displacement or any other violation, we would feel otherwise. We don’t always need a war- like exigency as a signal to act humane. The world as a community should take a lesson in prioritisation perhaps.


About the author

Parnal Vats

Besides having a unique name that made her spend most of her life carving out repetitive explainations for the same, Parnal has a deep inclination towards writing. She loves reading books, writing poems and studying International Diplomacy and Indian politics. Being a law student, she is annoyingly opinionated most of the times- but this is a sincere effort to excercise her freedom of speech and she hopes her words reach out and make many hearts reflect!

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