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HomeNews'Football's darkest moment' exposed by Qatari crude oil 'shame cup' worth $150m

'Football's darkest moment' exposed by Qatari crude oil 'shame cup' worth $150m

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Football’s “darkest moment” has been thrust into the light by a Russian conceptual artist who has created a World Cup replica filled with Qatari crude oil. Former Soviet Union soldier turned artist Andrei Molodkin said he aimed to expose the “crude truth” about corruption surrounding the football association with his latest creation: ‘The FIFA World Cup filled with Qatar crude oil’. The hollow 36.5cm acrylic World Cup statue will be put on display and filled with Qatari crude oil to represent how interlinked the two are.

Mr Molodkin said: “The FIFA rhetoric is tinted by oil money. Everyone now has an oil-based blood type, including the actual football players.

“The noise of the pumps ‘conducts’ the World Cup, and the level of oil that fills it is in progressive movement.

“The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is an economic transaction.”

The sculpture is produced in collaboration with the Spanish-based football magazine Libero, and the London-based arts organisation a/political.

It will be put on display for one day on December 18 – the day of the World Cup final – in a/political’s new exhibition space at the Bacon Factory, 6 Stannary Street in Kennington London, SE11 4AA.

The ‘Shame Cup’ will go on sale for sale at the same amount of money the FBI alleged was delivered in bribes to influence the World Cup venue selection: $150million (£127million).

The proceeds will fund a compensation program for abused migrant workers.

Loretta Lynch, the US attorney general, said the FIFA officials had allegedly run a “rampant, systemic and deep-rooted” scheme to “acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks”.

She added: “They were expected to uphold the rules that keep [football] honest, and protect the integrity of the game.

“Instead, they corrupted the business of worldwide [football] to serve their interests and enrich themselves.”

Qatar has long denied allegations of acting improperly despite facing a slew of accusations since it started bidding to host the cup.

The nation has also been criticised for its stance on same-sex relationships, human rights record and treatment of migrant workers in the lead-up to the tournament, which begins on November 20.

Ahead of the tournament, FIFA wrote to the 32 World Cup teams warning that football should not be “dragged” into ideological or political “battles”.

That letter has been criticised by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and LGBTQ+ campaigners in England and Wales, while 10 European football associations – including those of England and Wales – said “human rights are universal and apply everywhere” in response.

Mr Molodkin added: “The game is over for the shame cup in Qatar. Human rights and environmental travesty overshadow football’s darkest moment.”

The former soldier is well-known for his crude oil and human blood-filled sculptures.

Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, he has become one of the most prominent dissident voices against Russia in the cultural arena.

He received widespread media attention for the work ‘Putin Filled with Ukrainian Blood’, a portrait of Putin filled with the blood of his Ukrainian friends who donated it before returning to their home country to fight in the war.

Mr Molodkin was born in Buy, a small town in North-Western Russia, and told Express.co.uk he was heavily influenced by the “alternative culture” he grew up around. 

He said: “People seem to think I am a conceptual artist because I do not use paint, I do not use bronze or marble but I use human blood or crude oil or ballpoint pen.

“I grew up in a very small industrial city that was mainly made up of former prisoners because they say after prison you cannot live in Moscow. 

“We didn’t have any museums there but we did have an industrial zone. I would look at the tattoos of the prisoners and it would surprise me to see these crazy images.

“I was really impressed and surprised to observe the culture of the prisoner’s tattoos so I really draw on alternative culture. Living near the prisoner people is an education in strange culture.”

He currently lives and works between the French capital, Paris, and Maubourguet in Southern France. His work is held in a number of significant public and private collections, including the Tate national collection.

FIFA has been approached for comment. 



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