Any positive assessment of the decision to hold soccer’s World Cup in Qatar in five years required the suspension of all critical faculties.
The environment could hardly be more unsuitable for players or supporters; the abuse of migrant workers is unacceptable too.
That the entire circus was provoked by a decision of the deeply discredited Fifa executive committee adds to the farce.
Now, the possibility of the tournament going ahead is in serious doubt. On foot of accusations that Qatar is a pivotal financier of terrorism Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have broken off diplomatic relations and closed the only land route into the tiny peninsula.
They also closed sea ports and airspace to Qatar. Qatar denies that it funds terrorist groups.
Sadly, any welcome for this change of heart must be tempered by the reality that Qatar’s neighbours were aware of these charges for years but did nothing until persistent terror attacks around the world forced their hand — better late then never, though.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved