The Plastic World Cup: One week in, it’s clear that behind the facade lies a monumental pretence

There is no World Cup artefact more iconic than the Argentina shirt Diego Maradona wore when he applied the ‘Hand of God’ in 1986 but like everything else in Qatar, it is a commodity — bought for £7million from the former England international Steve Hodge at a Sotheby’s London auction six months ago, to sit in an exhibition at this tournament.

The scene yesterday morning outside the Khalifa International Stadium, which exhibits this legendary jersey, said everything about the confected and artificial nature of this plastic World Cup. A crowd of 20 people, this correspondent included, gathered to see it, having paid £23 — yes, £23 — for a digital ticket which came with orders to arrive at the appointed hour.

There were Germans, Mexicans, Irish, Tunisian, an…

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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