The festival of football is nearly here, with just 10 days left on the calendar until all eyes turn towards Qatar for the FIFA World Cup.
Ideally, the countdown to the footy extravaganza is loaded with speculation, excitement and plenty of anticipation.
While all those notions are present in time for Qatar, they feel a bit drowned out, and for that, you can blame the ‘sportwashing’ element in the room.
The upcoming event has provided yet another showcase of FIFA’s blatant and unabashed corruption.
Handing Qatar, a nation riddled with Human Rights abuse, the honour of hosting the World Cup is vile in itself, but the organization have also gone ahead and granted plenty of concessions to somehow make it possible.
A mid-season stoppage, absurd and untraditional scheduling, and feigning obliviousness to the dubious morality of it all, FIFA have done the lot.
Naturally, there’s a bit of unease surrounding the event, with many players boycotting the tournament entirely. Even companies have spoken out against it, be it in their typically deceitful ways.
Most of them have done a pretty decent job at sticking the landing with their soulless statements, aside from a certain brewery that opted to make a hypocritical statement out of it.
The company in question is Brewdog, a Scottish Brewery, that has taken the exhibitionist route with its advertising and proudly declared itself to be ‘the anti-sponsor of the World F*Cup’.
As part of its campaign, the brewery also set up billboards displaying similarly critical statements, such as, ‘First Russia, then Qatar. Can’t wait for North Korea’. Additionally, Brewdog also announced that all profits from their ‘Lost Lager’ beverage would go towards Human Rights charities.
It didn’t long before their efforts went in vain, as users online quickly saw through the facade and called out the brewery for its hypocrisy.
The reasons for the backlash are numerous, and go on to expose the disingenuous nature of their campaign.
The primary criticism levied at Brewdog was regarding their own workplace conditions, with former employees calling it ‘a culture of fear and intimidation‘.
It’s been only 10 months since the airing of ‘Disclosure : The Truth About Brewdog’, a documentary which brought the toxicity to light.
Naturally, many found their politically correct turnaround to be a bit hollow, especially since their own history is nothing to write home about.
That wasn’t all, as another layer of their hypocrisy emerged soon after.
Apparently. Brewdog has had a supply deal in place for months, one which enables them to supply beer into Qatar just in time for the World Cup tourism spike.
Qatar is known to be strict on alcohol, and as such, the nation has a single, state-controlled distributor, namely the Qatar Distribution Company.
With Brewdog already being available in the Gulf nation, could it be that the ‘anti-sponsors’ are in cahoots with the ‘corrupt state’?
The company quickly rejected that notion with a statement, although their product’s mere presence indicated just how genuine their campaign was.
The revelation that really checked all the virtue-signalling boxes was the fact that Brewdog will continue to show World Cup matches live on their venues, allowing them to profit from the revenue it’ll bring.
Maybe it’s just us, but the meaning of ‘anti-sponsor’ seems lost on them.
In conclusion, Brewdog’s masquerade is another example of capitalism feeding off of real suffering, all while sporting a dodgy veil with an arm extended to reap the cash.
Hopefully, the backlash received by them will dis-encourage other companies from attempting similarly empty campaigns.