Having hosted the World Cup for the past few years, Qatar is now facing some very legitimate criticism. Several countries are already displeased at the decision, and more may join in as the event approaches.
Some have questioned whether Qatar is the best place to host the tournament. Others have questioned the strength of the national football culture in the country, and others have questioned the logistics of organizing a World Cup. Qatar has been accused of bribery and of mistreating migrant workers.
A Danish journalist and television show host recently visited the country to film a segment on Qatar’s bid. He was stopped by a group of frustrated Qatari officials on a golf cart who asked why he was filming there. The resulting video made national headlines and revealed a surprising amount about the state of the country.
The government in Qatar has promised several things. One is a climate change mitigation plan that involves building large stadiums that can be cooled by the sun. Another is the development of pop-up villages near the main airport to handle the influx of World Cup travelers. However, these promises are just one part of a much bigger plan. The country has been promising a slew of new laws that will benefit tourists. And the list goes on.
Another piece of the Qatar puzzle is the infrastructure. The country has spent $300 billion on infrastructure projects. These include buildings, roads, and public transportation. However, sewage and water capacity have not been tested yet. And what about the alcohol? Qatar promises to permit alcohol consumption in designated fan-zones, but has not yet addressed the question of how to manage the consumption of alcohol during matches.
And for good measure, there have been reports of deaths among workers. In fact, there have been 44 Nepalese deaths in Qatar since June, and the number of workers is growing. The Guardian reports that migrant workers are being mistreated by their employers. The government has also told some immigrant workers to leave the country.
Among the things Qatar did in the name of the World Cup was to build a floating “solar cloud” to shade the pitch. However, this idea proved to be impractical. It has also been reported that a number of migrant workers have died, primarily from the stifling desert heat.
There are a number of other controversies associated with the 2022 World Cup. Some are concerned that the organizers of the event haven’t been transparent about the death toll. Others have questioned the ethics of hosting a global sporting event. However, the aforementioned has been deemed a small matter by the FIFA executive committee, and the upcoming World Cup may well move to a different location.
The World Cup may have been the fabled ‘Mirthful’ of the football world, but the real story is much more complex. The FIFA organization itself has been criticized for its ethical shortcomings. During the bidding process, a number of bribes were allegedly paid to officials involved in the selection process. And although the World Cup is not a political event, the Qatari government has made a point of outlawing homosexuality.