Three years ago, I went to Doha to look at what all the fuss was about for myself when it came to workers’ conditions in Qatar.
I have to admit I am really into the Winter Olympics. It’s a bit strange in light of growing up in Australia, the driest continent on earth, surrounded by ocean and beautiful beaches, blessed with pretty good weather and lots of sunshine, the Winter Olympics have, in a weird way, always been front of mind every four years.
Excuse the radio silence in January! I’d love to say it was because I was having a long break, whizzing down some ski slopes somewhere, or even back in Australia taking in the cricket and the tennis, but no – it’s been work. Quite a lot is happening and I’ll be happy to share more about that later in the year.
It’s been another big year in sport – unfortunately, for as much as the bad things as the good.
Two months ago I wrote about how Qatar could start to improve their battered image in the world. The battering started with the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to them seven years ago, and hasn’t let up.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that the gender pay gap is no more apparent than in the world of sport.
About seven years ago, the wife of the former Emir of Qatar wowed a global audience when presenting her country’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup with a simple question along the lines of ‘When will it be the right time for the Middle East to host the World Cup?’
You can’t be in Australia and not be aware of the marriage equality survey that’s currently underway.
As I am regularly and frequently in England, I am familiar with the frustration of supporters of clubs such as Blackpool, Leyton Orient and Coventry City to name a few.
Is this so-called ‘fight of the century’ really a fight, or is more of a farce?
I think the whole world is sick of elections – that is, that part of the world that holds them! But there’s one important one in sport coming up later this year that I want to write about. Already, the campaigning has started.
Earlier in the year, I wrote about a wonderful woman we’ve been working with, Kristen Worley.
It was interesting to read that long-time FIFA sponsor, McDonald’s, is thinking about walking away from its sponsorship of the World Cup that is roughly thought to be valued at $300-$400 million every four years. It comes on top of McDonald’s ending their 41-year relationship with the Olympic Movement recently also.
Everyone loves a ‘feel good’ moment – and I’ve got two today.
In case you hadn’t noticed, the ‘Garcia Report’ was released this week after lurking in locked drawers of desks in Zurich, Sydney, Munich and New York where the few people who were supposed to have a copy kept it. Sepp Blatter even sneaked one home from the office before he left, I’m led to understand.
As an all-round sports fan, I admit I find it hard to get that interested in FIFA’s Confederations Cup at any time. The tournament started back in the 1990s as a way of spreading the ‘love’ – FIFA style, if you get my drift – around the football world. Over the years, it’s developed as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup the year after, as much for the hosts as anyone else.
I’ve just got to weigh-in on the Margaret Court controversy.
I wanted to share with you an initiative we’ve been involved in that took place earlier this year at the top of the world. Literally.
There’s an unfortunate dispute going on in Australia in the great sport of cricket which could well affect the most sacred of sacred cows – the Ashes Series. For those not familiar with it, this is the regular Test Series between Australia and England. It’s sort of the equivalent of El Clasico but rather than meeting twice a season over 90 minutes, the teams meet about every 18 months over five five-day Tests.