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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Polly Hudson

'I refuse to watch the World Cup and feel complicit in Qatar's human rights abuses'

My husband has been my husband for the length of time that means I can tell what he’s thinking so precisely there may as well be words in a thought bubble floating above his head.

This is why I’m totally certain of what happened when I informed him of a decision I’d made this week, despite him not uttering a single syllable in response.

He was long aware I’d refuse to have anything to do with this World Cup, because I refuse to have anything to do with all World Cups, apart from moaning when endless football is on telly every day for the 600 years they go on for.

But this time would be different, of course.

This time, I informed him, in a passionate, lengthy speech, I am not allowing it in the house for which I pay half of the electricity used to power the TV.

Polly Hudson has no desire to watch Jack Grealish and his teammates during this year's World Cup (Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)

I unequivocally won’t have any part in it, will not add even one solitary number to the viewing figures of a competition held in a country with an unbelievably appalling human rights record, in a stadium where grossly underpaid workers died building it.

I saw my husband think, hang on a second, I pay the other half of that electricity bill, how is that fair? Then he thought, mind you, I’m not 100% on board with this World Cup either, I probably wouldn’t watch as many games as usual anyway… And then came the magical realisation, the thought that rendered all others moot: I am basically being banished to the pub for a month here, bye.

And so, he accepted my terms without argument. Neither of us seem sure whether I’m the worst wife in the world, or the best, but I’ve decided to take that as a win.

Presenter Alex Scott wore a One Love armband during a recent BBC broadcast from Qatar (BBC)

What my husband also isn’t saying, but is undoubtedly thinking – which you probably are too – is that I’m being a bit ridiculous. Over the top. Taking a pointless stand that will make absolutely no difference.

He’s right here (had to happen eventually). I know this. And still, I can’t not do it. Having games from Qatar showing in our living room, inviting this tournament into our home, would make me, personally, feel complicit.

That might not make sense to anyone else, but it does to me – and surely we all have to do what we believe is right.

David Beckham has so far been completely unrepentant about his shameful decision to prostitute himself and his principles for the Qatari riyal. Robbie Williams (who will be performing – so at least there is some form of punishment for those attending) has at least attempted to justify his involvement, saying: “Of course, I don’t condone any abuses of human rights anywhere.

David Beckham got a first-hand view of England's impressive 6-2 win over Iran on Monday (Richard Sellers)

“But, that being said, if we’re not condoning human rights abuses anywhere, then it would be the shortest tour the world has ever known: I wouldn’t even be able to perform in my own kitchen.”

And there you have it. We’re never all going to agree, on this or anything else in the world.

Everyone has to live with their own conscience, do what their morals will allow, what will let them sleep at night. The End.Apart from… what the hell has been going on in Robbie Williams’ kitchen?!

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