‘If an Irish club has an opinion on this, it will be noticed in every part of the football world’

Ireland’s football community has started to grapple with the moral questions which surround the Qatar World Cup

‘Football has to draw the line somewhere. It has let the host country sacrifice thousands and thousands of workers so that we can enjoy a great party, and spectacular stadiums.’ Picture: Getty

In February 2018, when Håvard Melnæs stepped off the plane at Hamad International Airport in Qatar, the heat hit him like a steam train.

“It was terrible – and I was there during winter,” he said. “We’re talking 36, 37, 38 degrees.”

It’s hardly a surprise that Melnæs, a Norwegian journalist accustomed to Scandinavian climes, found the conditions tough. But the weather that met him is considered moderate in the Middle East, where temperatures climb ...