Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the controversy surrounding Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup. The tiny Persian Gulf nation has been accused of bribery, corruption and human rights abuses. In fact, the US Department of Justice has indicted both Russia and Qatar for bribery and corruption.
The controversy has raged since 2010, with allegations of corruption and vote buying. The US Department of Justice accuses several soccer officials of bribing FIFA to vote for Qatar. The bribery involved millions of dollars being paid to FIFA officials. In court filings, the Department of Justice said that three South American soccer officials accepted bribes in exchange for voting for Qatar.
Qatar’s most senior World Cup organizer, Hassan al-Thawadi, publicly urged boycotting countries to allow nationals to attend the tournament. But soccer authorities in participating countries have rejected the idea. However, some fans are flying in on gamedays. Others are staying in other countries.
While construction for the World Cup continues as normal, Qatar has been criticized for its poor working conditions. Guest workers are mostly poor manual laborers from India and Pakistan. These workers are often forced to work under terrible conditions. According to the International Labor Organization, workers in Qatar have been subjected to human rights abuses. In addition, several guest workers have died. The International Trade Union Confederation has harshly criticized the Qatar government for forcing workers to work.
FIFA has announced that it will not strip Qatar of its 2022 World Cup hosting rights. However, the organization has invested a lot of time and money into the project and has not yet formally announced its decision. The organization has commissioned a sweeping investigation into the corruption allegations that arose during the World Cup bid process. It will formally announce its decision in the summer of 2018.
Despite the allegations, Qatar still has a lot to do to prepare for the World Cup. In the past, the country has made changes to its transportation system and has built new subways. It also has a new airport, a hospital and a university. But, even with all these improvements, Qatar has been accused of still exploiting migrant workers and of potentially dangerous playing conditions.
In September 2010, FIFA’s 22-member executive committee voted to install Qatar as the 2022 World Cup host. Several European countries, including Germany and the UK, were upset by the change and urged FIFA to rethink the decision. They also complained about the schedule change.
Qatar also forced Fifa to ban alcohol in World Cup stadiums two days before the tournament’s opening ceremony. Even though alcohol isn’t illegal in Qatar, it’s illegal to drink in public. The country also has a kafala system, which bound workers to their employers. This prevents workers from switching jobs or leaving the country.
In addition to allegations of bribery, Qatar has also been accused of exploiting migrant workers. Some guest workers are slaves and have died in heart attacks. The International Trade Union Confederation has criticized the Qatar government for forcing workers to do low-paid, dangerous work.