Football world cup will be organized in 2022 in Qatar. When FIFA announced Qatar as host of 2022 world cup, questions started rising on suitability of Qatar as host country. Many media outlets, sports experts and human rights groups criticized FIFA for this decision and even alleged of them being bribed. Former UEFA president was also arrested in 2019 in relation to bribing case.
In addition of bribing scandal there are several reasons why world at Qatar is a disgrace. Let’s discuss them one by one:
Violation of human rights is the biggest criticism of Qatar as world cup host. Treatment of workers hired to build infrastructure like stadium, hotels etc. was miserable. Kafala system left migrant workers vulnerable to systemic abuse. Workers may not change their job or even leave country. They were literally used as slaves in the process of building infrastructure. In 2013, Amnesty international reported serious exploitation of labors.
Due to heavy criticism, Qatar govt. stepped up and promised reforms in labor laws in 2014, But a little progress was made. The Nepalese ambassador to Qatar said that Qatar had become an open jail for migrant workers of south Asia. Companies forced workers to stay and work in poor conditions by denying them promised salaries and withholding worker ID permits. They faced exploitation to extent of modern day slavery. The Guardian did a investigation and found out horrible situations. Labors were forced to live in unsanitary conditions. Workers told the guardian that they were promised higher wages but their contracts were destroyed upon their arrival in Qatar. Some were not paid from months. They described having to beg for food and being beaten. Minimum monthly wage system was announced in 2020 , 10 years after announcement of hosting world cup. But this was also not sufficient to meet needs of workers as standard of living in Qatar is high.
Another problem is legal status of homosexuality in Qatar. Homosexuality is banned in Qatar with offenders facing fines and 7 years of imprisonment. LGBT fans may face problems. Many LGBT activists asked FIFA to cancel world cup but FIFA ensured that everyone will have right to watch the game in stadiums.
In addition to human rights violation climate is also a major problem as the world cup usually occurs during the northern hemisphere’s summer. Summer in Qatar sometimes become unbearable as temperature reaches 50 degree Celsius. It will affect the performance level of footballers and they will also need longer recovery time. Also lots of money will be required to create infrastructure of stadiums with cooling system
Solution of this problem is winter world world cup which is also a problem itself. World cup can’t be staged in January and February as it will clash with winter Olympics. Staging it in November December is also not feasible as it might clash with Christmas season. The Premier league also raised issues over moving world cup to winter as it will interfere with European domestic leagues and players from all over the world participates in these leagues. Broadcasters also raised voice as clash of world cup with major European leagues will be not profitable for them.
There are also some minor problems like transpiration, ban on use of alcohol in Qatar, huge cost etc. Qatar govt. is also taking some steps but they are not enough. So Qatar as a world cup hosting nation is a disgrace to football.