FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar and the Controversies surrounding it

On Sunday, the first-ever World Cup of football in the Middle East gets underway. But the world’s most popular sport’s premier competition has never been so clouded in controversies.

The controversies have centered on three main issues: suspicions of corruption at the top of FIFA, human rights in Qatar, and environmental issues.


Corruption Allegations

The decision to award Qatar the World Cup in 2010 was controversial. Contrary to past hosts, the nation lacked adequate soccer infrastructure in the form of stadiums and training grounds, and there were worries about the extreme heat for a competition typically conducted in the summer.

However, a report from FIFA’s ethics committee in 2014 concluded that there had been no wrongdoing despite bribery claims.

Three years after the investigation was completed, the information was made public. It notes that “no evidence of any unlawful behavior by the bid team or any football officials has been revealed,” As a result, “no further action will be taken.”

However, the debate still needs to be resolved by the report. In recent years, several cases have been brought against FIFA executives alleging corruption, including claims about the decision to award Qatar the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

Several executive committee members “were given or received bribes in connection with their votes” on both the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups, according to allegations brought by the DOJ against several prominent former FIFA administrators in 2015.

Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA at the time that Qatar received the World Cup, admitted that choosing Qatar was “a mistake” to the Swiss newspaper company Tameida.


LGBT+ and Women’s rights

Homosexuality is illegal in the nation of Qatar. Some soccer players have expressed concern for the fans traveling there, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and women. Who rights organizations claim are subjected to discrimination under the country’s laws.

But the World Cup organizers have emphasized time and time again that everyone is welcome in the competition, regardless of sexual orientation or background.

Less than two weeks before the games, former international and Qatar World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman claimed that homosexuality “damages the intellect.”

He continued by saying that more than a million people are expected to visit Qatar for the World Cup and that they should “respect our rules here.”

The Danish soccer team will attend the competition without their families in a show of protest against the nation’s human rights record. The Australian soccer squad has spoken against Qatar’s record on homosexual couples and human rights.


The welfare of Migrant Workers

Human rights organizations harshly criticized Qatar for its treatment of migrant workers, who make up most of the population, and other foreigners.

Despite labor reforms in 2014, Amnesty’s 48-page Reality Check 2021 report stated widespread practices like withholding wages and charging employees to change jobs were still prevalent.

The 2022 World Cup host country’s government refuted claims in the report that thousands of migrant workers were being detained and exploited, saying that Qatar’s labor system was still developing.

Amnesty and other rights organizations have led calls for FIFA to set aside $440 million, equal to the World Cup prize money. As compensation for migrant workers subjected to human rights violations in Qatar.

FIFA has been pressured by the football associations of ten European countries, including Germany and England, to act to strengthen the rights of migrant workers in Qatar.

Controls over Alcohol

The World Cup is to be held in a nation with solid alcohol laws, Qatar. It presents difficulties for the event’s organizers because beer-drinking supporters are frequently linked with events sponsored by beer companies.

The nation said it would permit ticketed spectators to purchase beer at matches beginning three hours before kickoff. And for one hour after the final whistle, but not during the game itself.

The tournament’s director, Al Khater, said the measure ensured that spectators were safe and not dangerous to others or themselves. Plans to create locations for intoxicated fans to sober up were made.

However, FIFA announced on November 18 that alcoholic beer would not be sold in stadiums. A last-minute change of heart made some fans doubt Qatar’s capacity to keep its word to supporters.

Climate Concerns

FIFA estimates that the event will produce 3.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in total. Still, they also state that 95% of those emissions, referred to as “indirect emissions,” will originate from air travel.

Climate scientists, however, contend that Qatar has overestimated the event’s actual emission output and climate impact and cast doubt on its claim to be a “carbon-neutral” competition.

Critics also point out that Qatar is using dubious methods, including buying carbon credits, to pretend that it is achieving sustainability objectives.


FIFA’s response to Controversies

FIFA wrote to World Cup teams pleading with them to concentrate on the football in Qatar and not allow the game to be pulled into ideological or political conflicts.

“Please, let’s focus on football, read the widely reported letter signed by Infantino and Secretary General Fatma Samoura.

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