"The World Cup starts this week and I am both excited and extremely conflicted about it."
If you're a soccer fan who also reads the news, you know the feeling.
John Oliver, a former "Daily Show" correspondent and now the host of his own HBO program, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," spent 13 minutes of his show this week pulling back the curtain on FIFA, the shady, corrupt, exploitative governing body of international soccer. FIFA — and the governments and business interests with which it's partnering — is making it really hard to enjoy the beautiful game without intrusive feelings of guilt and self-doubt.
Did you know, for example, that FIFA is forcing Brazil's World Cup stadiums to sell beer, even though alcohol has been banned from Brazil's stadiums for several years because fans were killing each other too often? Yes, that's right, there's no beer at soccer stadiums in Brazil because fans killed each other too often. But what's the cost of a life when there's a Budweiser partnership at stake?
And take Qatar, where people are working under slave conditions — and dying in the process — to build stadiums and infrastructure for its World Cup in 2022. The country's bid was won in a FIFA vote so obviously riddled in bribery that Adidas, Sony and Visa are all demanding a probe.
Those are just two examples. Oliver has plenty more to tell you. Enjoy his rant, and see if you can still enjoy the tournament. Ole.