Thursday, December 02, 2010

FIFA, Qatar and the curious case of the designer watch gift

I have absolutely no interest in football whatsoever. But here's a true-life story for soccer fans weeping over FIFA's World Cup preference for Russia and Qatar.

Last time I was in Qatar, booked into a 6* suite courtesy of [deleted for legal reasons], my stay coincided with that of FIFA reps there on official business. Returning to my room one evening I was delighted to find a wrapped gift on my bed. It was a beautiful Brietling watch. However, from the label, I quickly deduced I was not the intended beneficiary: it read something like 'To our FIFA guest'. It transpired later the hotel had wrongly allocated me a FIFA suite.

What did I do with the watch? I tore up the de luxe box it was presented in and put the timepiece on my wrist. Finders keepers, dearies.

Last year the watch stopped so I took it to my local horologist for repair. After a minute he reappeared at the counter and handed me back the watch saying, 'I'm sorry, it's a fake. And our policy is not to repair brand fakes.' I was sooo embarrassed.

What this says of Qatar or FIFA I cannot say.


Joe MacFarlane. said...

Qatar bought their weightlifting & running teams for the olympics. Money no object just win gold. So lots of Pudzianowskis are now Ibn Khalils. Name change part of deal. Would you become Fatima bint Bilal for a million US$?

Madame Arcati said...

So, Qatar knows how to play the game and the Brits don't. Very un-Etonian!

Anonymous said...

What a curious life you live