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Boycott Qatar World Cup 2022 – Qatar World Cup Controversies Explained

Boycott Qatar World Cup
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Since Qatar has been awarded the right to hold the 2022 FIFA World Cup in 2010, it has been entangled in a web of controversies. A number of Qatar world cup controversies include corruption allegations during the bidding process and numerous human rights violations regarding migrant workers, women and the LGBT community. This led to the jargon of Boycott Qatar world cup and Boycott Qatar 2022. Let us dive deeper into the 2022 Qatar World Cup controversies and see what the noise is all about.

Qatar World Cup Controversies – The Allegations Of Bribery And Corruption

In 2010, Qatar won the bid for hosting the FIFA world cup in 2022. And in 2011, several allegations of bribery and corruption in the selection process came forth within FIFA’s executive committee and Qatar’s bid community. There were allegations on Mohammad Bin Hammam for having bought the bid, who was the then Asian Football Confederation President, for $1.5 million. In June 2014, emails were obtained that alleged millions worth of bank transfers to FIFA officials by Hammam. 

Although the investigation still remains substantially incomplete, the former UEFA president, Michel Platini was arrested on 18th June 2019 by French police regarding Qatar’s win in the 2022 world cup bid.

Sepp Blatter, After a protester threw a stack of fake money on stage at press conference- Arnd Wiegmann/REUTERS

Reasons To Boycott Qatar World Cup – Human Rights Issues

This was the most discussed topic when it came to boycotting Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022. Since the winning of the bid in 2010, Qatar has been accused of several human rights violations and has not taken satisfactory actions in this regard.

1. Death of Migrant workers and slavery allegations

According to the ITUC, the kafala system of Qatar enslaved the migrant workers as it doesn’t allow them to change jobs or leave the country without the permission of their sponsor. This was supposed to be abolished in 2014 but was stretched to 2016. There were also reports that workers were forced to sign false papers that stated they had received their wages, in order to obtain their passports. 

Other than that, about 6500 migrant workers had reportedly died since 2010, due to various hazardous working conditions during the construction of highways and stadiums for holding the 2022 FIFA world cup.

In the last 10 years, more than 6500 migrant workers from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar.

2. Women’s rights

Qatar also violated women’s rights by applying discriminatory laws that required them to seek permission from their male guardian if they wish to marry, study abroad, receive scholarships, work in government jobs and/or receive forms regarding reproductive health even when they are divorced.

3. LGBT

Qatar’s take on LGBT civil rights has also been a hot topic since homosexuality is a criminal offence in Qatar and people are subjected to heavy fines and 7 years of imprisonment. There have also been reports regarding the ill-treatment of the detained. However, for FIFA, Qatar has been a little tolerant and allowed rainbow flags in the stadium and assured that the LGBT couples in the stadium will not be arrested.

4. November Schedule

Scheduling was a rather controversial matter as well because hosting FIFA in the months of January or February would clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics while hosting it in November or December would clash with Christmas which is an important festival for most of the participating countries, even though Qatar is an Islamic country. 

Franz Beckenbauer, Michel Platini and FIFA president, Sepp Blatter did vote for the winter schedule as it will reduce the cooling costs of stadiums for Qatar and the fans can engage in other activities outside the stadium without having to bear the heat. 

However, this upset a lot of broadcasting media and caused strain on players due to it causing clashes with other major winter events like the NFL. However, even after major backlash and concern, on 24 February 2025, the winter schedule was chosen to go ahead with.

5. Cost of Hosting World Cup

It cost around $300 for the Qatar world cup hosting while the last most expensive FIFA world cup was the one held in Brazil in 2014 at just $15 billion. This was due to the fact that Qatar is a small middle eastern country with not much population or infrastructure required to hold FIFA. Hence, after winning the bid, Qatar employed the construction of football stadiums, and hotels, adding rooms to accommodate and improve airport infrastructure and restarting old ones. 

It is interesting to note the fact that all the 8 stadiums in which FIFA 2022 is being held are made from scratch after 2010 just with the goal of holding FIFA world cup tournament matches.

Qatar world cup controversies

6. Beer and Alcohol

During the initial days, the chief executive of Qatar world cup bid, Hassan Abdullah al Thawadi said that they would also permit the sale and consumption of alcohol during the event and that fan zones will be made for the same.

However, on 18th November 2022, Qatar officially banned the selling or consumption of beer and any other alcoholic beverage within eight of its stadiums.

7. Paid Fans

Qatar is also accused of paying football fans to act as Qatar’s football representatives. In Qatar’s fan engagement program of 2020, they allegedly asked to sing and chant for Qatar in order for their accommodation and trip to FIFA 2022 to be sponsored by them. 

Not only that, in 2022 just before FIFA’s start, it was reported that actors were paid to play fans and promote the country for the tournament.

Also, Check out story on – FIFA World Cup Records of All Time

Conclusion

Although there’s a huge backlash about Qatar world cup controversies and numerous reports of Boycott Qatar world cup 2022, the tournament is still on and fans have witnessed some of the most memorable football matches of the season with two Asian countries, South Korea and Japan making it to the Round of 16 after years. The spirit of FIFA remains the same among the fans as they enjoy the games.

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