There was a day when a World Cup would have me climbing the walls with excitement months ahead of kick-off, particularly if Scotland had qualified.

I am old enough to remember when that happened with clockwork frequency. Now it’s just a nostalgic memory of the 70s, 80s and 90s, when life was a lot less complicated – and music was better too.

So here I am writing this and not sitting in front of the tube, clutching a tin of something cold, excitedly watching a game.

My love of football has waned recently but it’s not that. I just can’t get excited about the tournament because it was fated from the start.

Ironically, I wasn’t against it being awarded to Qatar, because I thought it was a good idea that the sport be brought to a part of the world where it wasn’t hugely popular, that way bringing the beautiful game to a new audience.

Everything that has happened since, however, has turned the screw. Firstly the appalling number of fatalities, estimated to be around 6,500, mainly among migrant workers during the building of the stadia.

Then there was the human rights record of the host nation and their stance against diversity, local people purporting to be fans of qualified nations, the will they/won’t they wear inclusivity armbands and the belated beer ban.

All this fronted by the squeaky-clean, if rather unusual, strike partnership of Morgan Freeman and David Beckham. I don’t watch much TV, if any, so I will always find something better to do than watch this.

But perhaps I shouldn’t complain so vociferously about Qatar. In Argentina in 1978, a military junta, which came to power after a coup, used the tournament to garner international respect and domestic support – a tactic which ultimately led to the Falklands War. That the host nation won is still the source of bitter allegations of brown envelopes and bent referees.

The 2018 tournament went to Russia, a country which had a decade earlier invaded its neighbour Georgia and only four years previously annexed Crimea in Ukraine. It would mount a full-scale invasion just three years after France won the trophy in Moscow.

I’m not naïve enough to believe there is no crossover between sport and politics, nor heaven forfend, given where we live, sport and religion. I just can’t get enthusiastic about a World Cup where there is more controversy than corners and more division than dribbling.

It should be the ultimate celebration of football. Instead, the beautiful game has lost a lot of its shine.