The football world governing body, FIFA, is an organisation infamous for dodgy dealings, with allegations of corruption, bribery and vote-rigging never far from its gilt-edged (but high security) doors. We are in fact about to witness the outcome of one especially disputed decision: the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
I’ll return to those issues around Qatar shortly, but first, the reason we are here. For reasons best known to itself, the modestly named Supreme Committee responsible for administering the world cup has released images of what the security staff at and around venues will be wearing. Like it’s fashion or something. Adam Hurrey, a reporter for the Athletic, noted drily that this may be the first time World Cup organisers have “dropped” these kits in such a fashion.
Surely the first ever World Cup where the organisers have “dropped” the security uniforms like home, away and third kits pic.twitter.com/eIhguYHmZjOctober 4, 2022
Hold on, what’s that in the first image. Computer: enhance!
I apologise for the grainy image, but Agent 47’s always hard to get a clear shot of. As one wag noted, this looks like “Hitman hiding in plain sight.” Yes, a World Cup already tainted by the host’s human rights record will now apparently feature what looks like cosplay of a cold-blooded assassin among its event security staff.
It is almost impossible to believe someone didn’t notice this: the red tie in particular feels especially like deliberate homage. I don’t really know what else to say about this other than it’s bizarre.
Controversy has surrounded the Qatar World Cup ever since it was first awarded amid allegations of corruption, which first surfaced in 2011 before a FIFA internal investigation found, naturally, that neither FIFA nor Qatar had done anything wrong. Independent investigations remain ongoing, but the event is going ahead regardless. More concerning than bribes is the fact that Qatar used what Amnesty International refers to as “forced labour” to build its stadiums for the events, with the Guardian leading the way in reporting on the dangerous and inhumane conditions these workers endure.
There’s a stench around this World Cup, with many calling for protest against it: Denmark’s national team will wear a kit intended as a symbolic rebuke of Qatar’s human rights record; while cities such as Paris have said that this World Cup will not be shown in public squares as the tournament usually would be. Putting a fictional cold-blooded killer’s outfit in its security uniform design is either one heck of a coincidence, or some unknown soul’s own personal protest at what’s about to happen. Good job 47.