The 2022 of the FIFA World cup in Qatar is set to become the most expensive edition ever but it has been a subject of a lot of criticism too. Ever since it was announced that Qatar will host the mega event of Football, several football pundits and people at respectable positions came out to express their disagreement on the same. Questions were raised on FIFA’s decision to carry out a tournament like this in a country where human rights are heavily exploited.
Qatar is known for being one of the richest country per capita but they are also one of those nations where indiscrimination is perhaps a normal thing. It was 12 years ago in 2010 when the lucrative FIFA World cup was awarded to Qatar and since then a total of $220 billion have been spent for construction purposes and reports suggest that thousands of people have died behind the scenes.
12 Stadiums have been built in Qatar since then and according to the requirements of FIFA World cup, Airports were to be expanded, New hotels had to be built alongside railways and highways connecting to the football stadium. However, on the other side of all this are the number of lives that came under scrutiny. The exact number might never come out but approximately more than 7000 people have died.
All of these people came from poor countries to earn a living and they died because of poor working as well as living conditions. The infamous Kafala System has been a topic of discussion as the system enables employers of in numerous low skilled workers to gain control over their lives. Workers are not allowed to change jobs, leave the country, apply for driving license, open bank account and rent a home without their employer’s permission.
Moreover, there have been reports that the workers are forced to sign false statements regarding their wages to get their respective passports back. 15,021 non-qatari people have lost their lives from 2010-2019 and according to the Guardian, workers from India, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka and Nepal are the most affected by the exploitation. This is not it, migrants flew in from Kenya, Philippines and Ghana to find work and the same source indicated that 6,750 workers have died since the FIFA world cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010.
Another reason why the FIFA World cup 2022 is receiving backlash is that Qatar does not approve homosexuality (LGBTQ). Certain reports have suggested that offenders get fined or find themselves behind the bars for at least 7 years. However, there are very less reports about death penalty for the offenders but protection for Journalists, Women, LGBTQ+, athletes and fans are not guaranteed protection by the apex world football governing body.
Just a few days earlier, French capital Paris joined Lille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Reims to avoid live screenings of the FIFA world cup 2022 in Qatar as they stand against the exploitation over the people in the country.
A report from 2017 suggested that six gulf nations came together and wrote to FIFA about the Terrorism and security issues that loom around Qatar. The six nations – United Arab Emitrates, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Mauritania labelled Qatar as the “base of terrorism” and requested FIFA head Gianni Infantino to remove the tournament from Qatar.
The countries warned FIFA of the risks threatening fan and player security in a country that is ‘the base and the castle of terrorism” – said Infantino
Why is FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 dangerous for the players?
For the first time in history, the FIFA World cup is taking place during the winters in the midst of all footballing leagues in Europe. When the Qatar World cup begins in November, all the leagues around the world will be halted and resume a week after the Final in 18th December.
This jam-packed schedule is a huge threat for the player’s well-being who are constantly under the pressure of performing at the highest level. If we look at the FIFA rankings then Top 15-20 countries who have qualified for the World cup have players that play club football regularly for the biggest clubs in Europe.
They will come into the world cup with enormous pressure on their shoulders to not let their country down and there will be fear in their hearts as well. The Fear factor is the threat of sustaining any injury in the middle of the world cup as we have seen in the past, certain injuries have forced the players to miss the rest of the season.
With the expectations from the clubs to win silverwares and the hope of fans to see their country win the World cup in Qatar, the players are most likely to face burnouts and fatigue. After all its the players who will have to play the world cup not the organizers. It is possible that players might lose their enigma and possession after the world cup as they only have 7 days to recover.
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2014 spoke about FIFA’s decision to organize the mega footballing event in Qatar and said that it was a “mistake”.
Yes. Well, a mistake. A mistake. You know one makes many mistakes in life. The technical report on Qatar clearly indicated that it was too hot in summer. But the (FIFA) executive committee decided with quite a large majority that we are going to play in Qatar. As explained in his answer to the journalist, the president reiterated that the decision to organize the World Cup in summer was an ‘error’ based on the technical assessment report of the bid, which had highlighted the extremely hot temperatures in summer in Qatar. At no stage did he question Qatar as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. “
FIFA World Cup 2022 kicks off on 18th of December at Qatar with the first match taking place between Qatar and Ecuador.