Patterico's Pontifications


Today in World Cup “Action”

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:01 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Note: Please forgive my crude interruption of the Weekend Open Thread, but I love this story so much that can’t help but report it in its own post.

European Union Vice-President Eva Kaili has been arrested by Belgian authorities in connection with corruption stemming from Qatar’s successful bid for this year’s World Cup. Authorities have been investigating allegations of payoffs to prominent politicians in return for support for the first ever World Cup held on the Arabian Peninsula, and today Ms. Kaili was pinched along with four unnamed Italians, one of whom is alleged to be a former Member of the European Parliament.

Nobody with any sense has ever believed that the Qatari bid for the quadrennial soccer tournament was on the up-and-up, and now that the tournament is reaching the semi-final stage it’s safe to acknowledge all of the dirty money flowing from Doha. A few years back I characterized FIFA, soccer’s governing body, as a collection of “sleazy bankers, corrupt lawyers, and assorted louche princes and counts from defunct royal courts,” and it’s only natural that they would form alliances with grifting politicians.

Despite what must be an embarrassment to FIFA, the Qatari organizing committee, and the EU — Oh, whom I am kidding? None of those reprobates are capable of embarrassment — and despite the fact that I am delightfully wallowing in the tidbit that Ms. Kaili is a member of the Greek Socialist Party, I still hope to see her beat the rap. Why do I feel this way? Just take a look at her:

Eva Kaili, EU Vice-President

I still hold to my controversial belief that beautiful people are above the law, and there’s no telling me otherwise.


32 Responses to “Today in World Cup “Action””

  1. Somewhere along the way I became the Soccer Correspondent to Patterico’s Pontifications. Still can’t figure out how that happened.

    JVW (9b9b2d)

  2. @1. A seriously hard header perhaps? 😉

    DCSCA (c4323a)

  3. Ms. Kaili is apparently a former newscaster (per Wikipeida). See what Kari Lake could have become had she not been such a disciple of Donald Trump?

    JVW (9b9b2d)

  4. I still hold to my controversial belief that beautiful people are above the law, and there’s no telling me otherwise.

    LOL yep. Absolutely. She can don an orange jumper w/t zipper down just right– and spear trash along my highway anytime.

    The FIFA beer ban was the true criminal act. 😉

    DCSCA (c4323a)

  5. There has to be a flaw somewhere. Belching, snoring, toenail fungus, bad breath, bacne (acne on the back). Nobody is perfect.

    norcal (862cdb)

  6. Well, when your nation is run by self-selected interlocking boards of “sleazy bankers, corrupt lawyers, and assorted louche princes and counts from defunct royal courts” and the people can only vote for local governments that are subordinate to the above crony boards, you should expect this kind of thing.

    Just be happy they actually put on the games, rather than absconding with all the money.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  7. Ms. Kaili is apparently a former newscaster (per Wikipeida)

    Well, there’s a former [male] sportscaster that achieved some success.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  8. I’m a soccer fan who usually watches religiously. This year i’ve been ignoring it.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  9. I’m a soccer fan who usually watches religiously.

    Then you know it’s blasphemy to call it anything but football. 😉

    DCSCA (78d5c3)

  10. I don’t know, JVW. Elizabeth Theranos airily dismissed the idea that she might do jail time when she told a consultant “They don’t put pretty people like me in jail.”

    And we know how that turned out…

    Dana (1225fc)

  11. Elizabeth Theranos airily dismissed the idea that she might do jail time when she told a consultant “They don’t put pretty people like me in jail.”

    Great point. But the secret is always that you never say those things out loud. It was very gauche of Ms. Holmes to peel back the curtain there.

    JVW (9b9b2d)

  12. Don’t Eff with the Qataris on other matters:

    urbanleftbehind (881ecf)

  13. No worries, JVW. It’s the EU. Her overnight detention following her arrest is the only time she will likely serve. She may even get back the purses of cash they found at her house.

    nk (bb1548)

  14. R.I.P. Grant Wahl

    U.S. soccer journalist Grant Wahl dies at 48 in Qatar.

    Grant Wahl, one of the most well-known soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands in Qatar. He was 48.

    US media seated near him said Wahl fell back in his seat in the press box at Lusail Iconic Stadium during extra time and reporters adjacent to him called for assistance. Emergency services workers responded very quickly, the reporters said, and they were later told that Wahl had died…

    DCSCA (dc05ed)

  15. Wahl wrote pretty well about college basketball too, but I know that his true love was soccer and it seems that it eventually became his full time focus. Gone way too soon.

    JVW (9b9b2d)

  16. Is there any suspicion that his fall was not accidental? I ask because wasn’t he the reporter that wore rainbow colors to a match?

    Dana (1225fc)

  17. Is there any suspicion that his fall was not accidental? I ask because wasn’t he the reporter that wore rainbow colors to a match?

    Dana (1225fc) — 12/10/2022 @ 11:24 am

    Conspiracy theorists are saying the government murdered him, but he had been extremely sick for several days, and there were dozens of people around him when he collapsed. So him dabbing on the Qatari government had nothing to do with it.

    Factory Working Orphan (a4dd55)

  18. She may even get back the purses of cash they found at her house.

    Or at least most of it.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  19. @16. Reports are he was not well for a time as it was; apparently he tweeted about the stresses building up- he’d been ill w/Covid and more of late, bronchitis- had taken a day off and got back to work– and it just overtook him. Work can be a killer…when your body is talking to you, best listen to it. Sad loss.

    DCSCA (c36e46)

  20. Not to fuel the conspiracy theorists, but one of the last pieces that Wahl wrote was harshly critical of Qatar’s human right record and the corrupt measures they employed to land this tournament. There is a tweet going around that is allegedly from Wahl’s gay brother (in whose honor he supposedly wore the rainbow shirt) claiming that the family absolutely believes he was murdered, but I have a strong suspicion that tweet is bogus.

    JVW (9b9b2d)

  21. Now the story is that the gay brother’s message was via an Instagram post, and he has deleted it (certainly out of fear, we are assured). It sounds more and more like this is a bunch of baloney, but you have to admit that Grant Wahl’s death two days after posting a story critical of the Qatari hosts is, well, interesting timing.

    JVW (9b9b2d)

  22. @21. Of course, you know… it’s Putin’s fault. 😉

    DCSCA (207588)

  23. Beauty fades, stupid lasts forever. What if she has the irritable bowel?

    steveg (9c2875)

  24. You will need deep pockets
    In 2018 the Greeks owed the IMF and EU 330 BILLION Euros

    steveg (9c2875)

  25. The family of Grant Wahl doesn’t want an autopsy to be performed in Qatar, and the U.S. government is working to arrange for his body to be transported to the United States. It’s a real suspicion. Before he went to Qatar he was in excellent condition.

    The question would be if he was poisoned, or if he was infected with an unusual variant of some virus, and if he got proper medical treatment – or even perhaps malicious medical treatment.

    On the other hand, the question would be was Grant Wahl important enough to somebody to murder – but was it perhaps a test case? But if it is a test case they would have wasted a murder, because there is only a limited number of times a country or group can secretly murder somebody without people catching on

    And people have died suddenly from Covid.

    A 35-year-old acquaintance drops dead from a hemorrhagic stroke. A friend in her 40s, and another in his 70s, experience recurrent spells of extreme dizziness, their hearts pounding in their chests when they stand. A 21-year-old student with no prior medical history is admitted to the ICU with heart failure, while a 48-year-old avid tennis player, previously healthy, suddenly suffers a heart attack. A relative is diagnosed with pericarditis, an inflammation of the protective sac surrounding the heart.

    I can’t confirm the exact etiology of all these cases. But every one of the people I mentioned had a history of COVID either days or months beforehand–and all of them experienced only mild cases of infection at the time.

    Is it possible, despite everything we know, that we still underestimate COVID’s reach and danger? It is not normal for me to know so many people with severe conditions. Not normal at all.

    And at the beginning of the epidemic in New York, there were a lot of excess heart attacks.

    But the problem with this being a method of killlling someone (like perhaps Zachary Taylor was murdered with chi=olera in 1850) is that the effects are unpredictable and death is unlikely to result.

    But it could be that Qatar merely wanted to make Grant Wahl sick for a few days, and stop him from broadcasting and writing during the tournament — but wound up killing him.

    Sammy Finkelman (96b037)

  26. They’ll no doubt be looking for signs of secret injection – body punctures adnd the like, and looking for what antibodies he had to what virus or bacteria, and if the virus or bacteria was common.

    Sammy Finkelman (96b037)

  27. Meanwhile we need a real life Sherlock Holmes in Idaho.

    Sammy Finkelman (96b037)

  28. It should come as little surprise to anyone who has dealt with large contracts outside the USA (or within the USA for that matter) that poorly documented payments occur during the normal course of business. There is a thriving industry associated with these payments. Mr. Manafort may be the best known practitioner within this industry, but he is hardly unique.

    John B Boddie (18ca17)

  29. These arrests actually had (almost) nothing to do with the World Cup. It involved other, more recent, bribery by the government of Qatar.

    Eva Kaili did have some favorable comments to make about Qatar and the World Cup:

    Ms. Kaili was a vocal supporter of Qatar in the months leading up to the World Cup and recently visited on an official trip.

    “Today, the World Cup in Qatar is proof, actually, of how sports diplomacy can achieve a historical transformation of a country with reforms that inspired the Arab world,” Ms. Kaili said last month in a speech before the European Parliament. “I alone said that Qatar is a front-runner in labor rights.”

    “Still, some here are calling to discriminate them,” Ms. Kaili said of Europe’s approach to Qatar. “They bully them, and they accuse everyone that talks to them or engages of corruption.”

    News of the arrests came before news of the names of the people arrested came.

    Eva Kaili’s father, Alexandros, and her “common law” husband, Francesco Giorgi, “who works as an aide to a European lawmaker” were also initially arrested, but released (without charges apparently) Three others were arrested.

    She’s losing all her positions. A lot of money was seized. This has to be recent money.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)


    ‘No Amount of CPR’ Would’ve Helped Soccer Writer: Wife

    Dr. Celine Gounder says her husband Grant Wahl died of an aortic aneurysm unrelated to COVID

    … Gounder writes in a statement that an autopsy revealed the burst aneurysm, and that “the chest pressure he experienced shortly before his death may have represented the initial symptoms.”

    “His death was unrelated to COVID,” she notes. “His death was unrelated to vaccination status. There was nothing nefarious about his death.”

    She shouldnt be so quick to say it was unrelated to Covid (or another infection)

    t could be related to Covid. Why couldn’t the coughing have increased the chance of the aneurysm bursting or the infection prevented its healing? I don’t think they know the back story of aortic aneurysms, but it is certainly related to age for one thing.

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  31. Grant Wahl’s wife, by the way is not only a doctor but an epidemiologist.

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  32. And she normally appears on CBS. She first said this on Good Morning America.


    The tear was probably getting worse but was not diagnosed.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

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