Who Owns Football?

Join us for a discussion on identity and ownership in local football, the impact the pandemic has had on the game and the human rights issues surrounding the men's 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Who Owns Football?

All welcome - join us for the whole event or drop in for the panel discussion of your choice or the film screening.

15:00 - 16:30
Dr Stuart Whigham, Brookes Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work, will open discussion of the social and economic factors relating to displacement and disempowerment for fans of football in Oxford. For example, developments such as the relocation of Oxford United from the Manor Ground to the Kassam Stadium, and the similar move for Oxford City from Whitehouse Road to Marsh Lane, have had significant impacts on the experiences of the respective clubs and their fans. Our panel will discuss the various forces which have influenced the experiences and identities of football fans, as well as the opportunities for fans to regain a sense of control and impact on the direction of their beloved clubs.

17:00- 18:30
Two panels led by Prof Paul Whitty from the School of Arts at Brookes exploring the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on football culture and the human rights issues surrounding the 2022 FIFA men's World Cup in Qatar.

Behind Closed Doors - 17:00- 17:40
This panel will discuss the impact of the pandemic on football from grassroots to the UEFA Champions League and will include contributions from writer Juliet Jacques.

The FIFA World Cup and Human Rights - 17:50 - 18:30
The award of the men's World Cup to Qatar has placed football front and centre in the geopolitics of sport and has raised a host of human rights issues including the systemic abuse of migrant workers employed to build the stadiums and infrastructure for the tournament; and discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community. The Doha-based journalist Pete Pattisson who has been documenting the conditions endured by low wage migrant workers in Qatar for the last nine years joins Paul Whitty, Juliet Jacques and others to discuss the current situation in Qatar on the eve of the FIFA World Cup and provide contemporary context ahead of the screening of The Workers Cup (2017).

19:00 - 20:30 Screening of The Workers Cup (2017)
The Workers Cup is set inside the labor camps of Qatar, where the World Cup is being built on the backs of 1.6 million migrant workers. The film follows a team of laborers living a real-life version of fantasy football. By day they sweat to build the World Cup; by night they compete in a “workers welfare” football tournament, playing in the same stadiums that will one day host the world’s greatest players. We join one team of men from Nepal, India, Ghana, and Kenya whose only common ground is their love for football. Each match offers them a momentary escape from the homesickness and isolation they endure as the lowest class in the world’s richest country.
Directed by Adam Sobel

20:30-21:00 Extra Time 
A reflection on The Workers Cup and what happens next