The FIFA World Cup 2022 which is an international soccer tournament is hosted by Qatar this year. Qatar is a small country on the Arabian Peninsula in Middle East Asia. It has an area of 4,471 square miles which is smaller than the state of Connecticut by about 20%. The World Cup is taking place from November 20th to December 18th. This year's world cup brought up many controversies.
First, I’d like to mention corruption. The decision that Qatar could host the 2022 World Cup was made back in 2010 by the FIFA board. Many members of the board suddenly changed their opinion after a meeting with people from Qatar. Furthermore, they didn’t need to pay for vacations or got some presents. Moreover, to choose Qatar as a host country also seems quite unreasonable. The country doesn’t have a meaningful soccer tradition and was also lacking basic infrastructure like stadiums. In addition to that, it is way too hot in summer to play soccer. It can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so the tournament had to be moved to winter.
Furthermore, there are many human rights violations in Qatar. There had to be built seven new stadiums, hundred hotels and an entire network of roads and rails to transport fans between the arenas and hotels. It is estimated that 95% of the country’s labor force is made up of migrants. They have to work under terrible conditions. There is nearly no safety at work. A 2021 investigation by the guardian found that more than 6,500 migrant workers had died because of workplace accidents, car crashes, suicides or because of the heat. Also, homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and the country’s penal code criminalizes sex outside of marriage which leads to the prosecution of rape victims.
FIFA might claim that this is the world’s first fully carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup tournament, but many climate researchers doubt that. There are many, many flights to and from the country during the World Cup daily. Moreover, the fields need to be watered. Each field needs about 10,000 liters of desalinated water every day. The stadiums are also all air-conditioned because of the heat.
In my opinion, the World Cup is highly controversial. I think that it is unbelievable what people do for money. I just don’t see any good reasons why you would choose to let a country like Qatar host a World Cup. Moreover, so many people have to suffer so we can have fun watching soccer. Personally, I’m not so interested in soccer, so I also don’t really watch it. However, I also heard of people boycotting this year's World Cup by not watching it.
Do you think the World Cup is controversial?
Do you watch the World Cup?
Do you think that the World Cup should be boycotted?