Qatar bribes Brit musicians to train its World Cup squad

Qatar bribes Brit musicians to train its World Cup squad


norman lebrecht

December 22, 2014

We hear that slave-state, terror-sponsoring Qatar is offering a tax-free £66,000 plus apartment and car to British musicians who are prepared to train up its bands in preparation for the 2022 World Cup, which Qatar obtained through alleged bribery.

According to one press report, more than 60 UK musicians have signed up and more are being sought. We have heard so far of one London player who has taken the equivalent of two years’ earnings in exchange for imagined luxury, excruciating boredom and a sacrifice of moral principles.

Has any of our readers declined the Qatar shilling?

qatar music


  • Neil van der Linden says:

    There are quite a few things wrong in and about Qatar, yes. But ‘bribing’ musicians? And although there are excesses in the labour situation, ‘slave-state’? And all this in the headers of the article or the first alinea? To get your opinion, Mr Lebrecht, somewhere during the article would be fine. If explicit opinion-making would be the first goal of this music blog, it could have been an idea to start the article about the new concertmaster for the Israel Philharmonic as ‘Just in: Apartheid-state’s Israel Philharmonic bribes US concertmaster.’ Then see in the ensuing debate what the nuances are.

    • Greg says:

      Neil, you’re very naive, but you have plenty of naive friends. Read about the World Cup 2022. How many foreign workers who have died so far, and how many is expected to die the next eight years. Google Qatar football slavery and you’ll learn something new.

      Arab culture is dying, and has nothing to offer Westerners. Tax-free money and nice apartments is all they can get – and apparently, for some idiots this is all they need.

      • Jennifer Roig-Francoli says:

        You say, “Arab culture is dying, and has nothing to offer Westerners.” If that is not a naive statement, it is at best an ignorant one. It is precisely this kind of thinking which prevents a peaceful world. ALL cultures have something to offer all others. Just because someone is unable or unwilling to see beyond the ugliness does not mean the beauty is not there.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    What country does one work in today without sacrificing some significant moral principal?

  • Jennifer says:

    Excuse me, please clarify. What makes this a bribe rather than payment for services rendered??

  • Neil van der Linden says:

    The ‘news’ comes from the Mail, not a newspaper known for its nuance and balancedness, nor for an untainted past, From Wikipedia: “Lord Rothermere was a friend of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, and directed the Mail’s editorial stance towards them in the early 1930s.[32][33] Rothermere’s 1933 leader “Youth Triumphant” praised the new Nazi regime’s accomplishments, and was subsequently used as propaganda by them.[34] In it, Rothermere predicted that “The minor misdeeds of individual Nazis would be submerged by the immense benefits the new regime is already bestowing upon Germany”. Journalist John Simpson, in a book on journalism, suggested that Rothermere was referring to the violence against Jews and Communists rather than the detention of political prisoners.[35]

    Rothermere and the Mail were also editorially sympathetic to Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists.[36] Rothermere wrote an article entitled “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” in January 1934, praising Mosley for his “sound, commonsense, Conservative doctrine”,[37] and pointing out that: “Young men may join the British Union of Fascists by writing to the Headquarters, King’s Road, Chelsea, London, S.W.”[38]

    The Spectator condemned Rothermere’s article commenting that, “..the Blackshirts, like the Daily Mail, appeal to people unaccustomed to thinking. The average Daily Mail reader is a potential Blackshirt ready made. When Lord Rothermere tells his clientele to go and join the Fascists some of them pretty certainly will.”[39]

    The paper’s support ended after violence at a BUF rally in Kensington Olympia later that year.[40] Mosley and many others thought Rothermere had responded to pressure from Jewish businessmen who it was believed had threatened to stop advertising in the paper if it continued to back an anti-Semitic party.[41]”
    Then the Jews, now the Arabs or Muslims.
    Yes the Muslim world is struggling, but it would have been time for once anyway to organise such tournaments in the Arab or Muslim world, and not again in London or Sydney, the ‘white’ world. Sadly, the Gulf is one of the few places in the Arab world safe enough to do so.
    It is rather time to question the system of the whole sports tournament’s industry.
    It is sad to see Norman instead joining the Mail’s questionable chorus.

  • Neil says:

    I assume the word “bribe” was used in relation to obtaining the world cup, not the musicians! Clearly the fee is not a bribe. On that front, you’ve got you’re facts wrong, the fee is a lot less than £66,000, but still more than a classical musician can hope to earn in the UK, especially when visiting the tax savings. Regarding the car, is shared between four, I’m assuming it’s principle purpose is to enable the musicians to commute to the place if work. And the apartments are on a shared basis.

    I’m terms of anyone (and this is not limited to musicians) not working in Doha because of corruption and dodgy practices, where in the world is squeaky clean. Certainly not the UK or USA. Hopefully through education, which is heavily promoted in Doha, things may change for the better.

  • Neil says:

    Sorry about my poor grammar and incorrect word in previous post, I’m using my phone to post and it keeps autocorrecting!

    In terms of being bored in Doha, that’s pretty subjective. If you enjoy spending time with friends, swimming, attending concerts, studying (in my case), eating out etc then you should be ok. The UK can be a boring place if you can’t afford to do the things you enjoy, and you’re friends are too far dispersed to visit them regularly enough.