The 2022 FIFA World Cup was voted to be held in Qatar in 2010, but allegations of corruption and revelation of Qatar’s domestic problems are causing controversy and doubts about this country’s ability to fairly hold one of the world’s most watched tournaments.
1. Rigged elections, bribes and corruptions – oh my!
FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his FIFA henchmen were charged with accepting payments to rig elections, allowing Russia to host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar in 2022. Blatter resigned shortly after. (Thanks, John Oliver!)
2. Scorching hot temperatures
Qatar has a subtropical desert climate, with temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more on a daily basis. Not only would this heat be a health hazard to the players, but the fans as well.
3. Environmental responsibility
FIFA’s response to hot temperatures is to build new air-conditioned stadiums. However, after the World Cup, these massive stadiums will be left in the desert or dismantled, costing millions of dollars. That makes sense.
4. An abominable human rights record
Qatar has a population of about 2 million, of whom only 10 percent are Qatari nationals. Its large migrant worker population is mistreated into forced labor and trafficking. At least 157 Nepalese migrants working on projects related to the World Cup died in Qatar in 2014 from workplace accidents, heart attacks, and sudden cardiac arrests caused by overworking in the heat.
Before Qatar upgrades its infrastructure for the World Cup, it needs to fix its treatment of the people who will be working to build these stadiums and hotels.
5. Major loss of broadcast revenue
Fox Television has reportedly paid $425 million for the rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. (Wow.) However, FIFA has considered moving the World Cup to the winter, but Fox made it clear it opposed any switch to the winter because it would clash with NFL games in America. Am I the only one feeling a headache coming on?