Nine years before the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the country is being criticised for everything from logistics to bribery to human rights abuses.
It’s a burgeoning disaster. Here’s why.
1. They’re allegedly using forced labour to build the infrastructure.
The Guardian had a big report this week about the mistreatment of Nepalese migrant workers in Qatar. The workers — some of whom are working on the planned city which will host the 2022 World Cup final — accused their employers of withholding pay, forcing them to work in heat without water, making them live in squalid camps, and confiscating their passports to keep them from leaving the country.
From June to August, at least 44 Nepalese died in Qatar from working construction, the Guardian reports.
2. It’s 120 degrees in summer so they’ll probably have to play the tournament in winter.
During the bidding process, Qatar said they would host the event in summer. Now pretty much everyone has abandoned that idea, and FIFA could make it official soon.
3. Homosexuality is illegal there.
While Qatar has more liberal policies than many Middle Eastern countries, it still has strict anti-gay laws. FIFA president Sepp Blatter recommended that gay men who want to go to the World Cup should “refrain from any sexual activities.”
4. There were widespread bribery allegations during the bidding process.
An English lord said that bribery was everywhere when FIFA was deciding between England and Russia for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar and the United States for the 2022 World Cup. He said that one FIFA member asked the English for a knighthood, and another wanted a $US2.5 million school built in his native Trinidad & Tobago.
5. There are no stadiums.
6. Entire cities that are necessary to host the event don’t exist yet.
It will cost Qatar $US220 billion to host the World Cup. They don’t have the stadiums, hotels, or infrastructure to the host the event, so they have to build it all from scratch before 2022. By comparison, it cost South Africa $US3.5 billion.
The city that will host the final, Lusail City, doesn’t exist yet.
7. The futuristic air-conditioned stadiums that Qatar promised to build aren’t actually possible.
Qatar promised to build space-age stadiums that had unprecedented cooling technology so that the event could be held during the summer. But after they won the bid, they scrapped that plan. According to ESPN, the architecture firm that will build the stadium said “the system is too expensive and ‘notoriously unsustainable’ for the environment when used on a large scale.”
8. Playing it in winter will totally screw up the European leagues.
For many of these huge global stars, the club matters more than the country. While the World Cup is a huge event, postponing the English, Spanish, and Italian leagues will be a huge headache for everyone involved.
9. FIFA will have to renegotiate all the TV contracts.
FIFA is holding secret talks with television networks from across the world in case the World Cup is moved to the winter, the Telegraph reports. Fox paid a record $US425 million for the next two tournaments under the assumption that it would be played in summer and not clash with the NFL.
10. It’ll get drowned out by football in America.
The World Cup is the only time when mainstream America pays attention to soccer. If it has to compete with the NFL it’d be a disaster, especially if it’s held in January and goes up against the playoffs.
11. They probably won’t sell beer in the stadiums.
There are select hotels and bars in Doha where you’re allowed to drink. But you can’t have alcohol or be drunk in public. It will be the most sober World Cup ever.
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