Qatar 2022: The Dark Side Of The World Cup

The Dark Side Of The Qatar 2022 World Cup

Qatar 2022: The Dark Side Of The World Cup

The 22nd quadrennial FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be held in the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar in 2022. For a change, the tournament, for the first time, will not be held as per usual during May, June or July due to harsh climate conditions, but instead, is planned to take place during the much cooler months of November and December. Speaking of firsts, the world cup has also never been held in a Muslim majority Arab nation before.

Granted, the choice to hold the tournament in Qatar is a huge milestone for Middle Eastern football enthusiasts, and can also be a great way to unite a divided region, but the decision has been met with a truckload of controversy. Several communities have expressed concern over having the Gulf state as a host nation, due to several allegations of corruption, human rights violations, forced labor and restrictions on alcohol consumption due to Sharia law.

In 2015, it was alleged that Qatar bid committee bribed officials and executives with millions of dollars to secure their spot as the host nation, and as a result, investigations were launched to look into the matter. Claims were made that Qatar could potentially be stripped of the opportunity to be a host nation, but, as of now, FIFA cleared the state of all claims of misconduct regarding this matter, and waved off the claims, despite being labeled by many as one of the most corrupt sporting decisions.

There have also been accusations of human rights violations. Apprehension has been shown by LGBTQIA+ activists, regarding the status of gay rights in the state. There is also concern surrounding the treatment of the thousands of migrant workers from third world countries working towards making the tournament possible. It was reported that these workers were subjected to life-threatening conditions. Thousands of labors are being exploited, and are made to work for 12 hours straight in the sweltering heat, six days a week for a minimal fee. It was also found that the workers living situation was deplorable, and their salaries are sometimes held back for months on end.

The Human Rights Watch and other non-profit groups have reported countless migrant labor deaths due to their slave-like conditions and have urged authorities to show more concern toward the safety of the laborers by placing restrictions and publishing information. Qatar, however, has refuted all of these claims and asserts that they do the utmost to ensure their worker’s safety and health. Last year, they approved of a bill that included would protect the rights of foreign workers, which introduced a minimum wage and a support fund for them. They also introduced labor laws that made it easier for workers to switch jobs or leave the country, and to prevent wage delays. It is still unclear, however, how well these laws have been implemented.

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