The Controversy Surrounding World Cup 2022

What’s happening for the World Cup 2022?


For soccer fans around the globe, the World Cup is a time of celebration and a battle to see who the best soccer team is in the world. The upcoming World Cup will take place in 2022 in Qatar, a country that is located in the middle east, as a peninsula off the coast of Saudi Arabia. However, this World Cup has been surrounded with controversy, scandals, and a staggering number of deaths.

Many soccer officials have raised concerns about bribery going on behind the scenes to decide who the next country would be to host the world cup. Eleven years ago, FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) decided that Qatar would host the World Cup in 2022. This choice has been clouded with judgment and corruption allegations. The New York Times reports,  “The U.S. prosecutors on Monday [April 6th, 2020] explicitly revealed details about money paid to five members of FIFA’s top board ahead of the 2010 vote to choose Russia and Qatar as hosts. Qatar, a tiny desert state that has spent billions of dollars to prepare for the 2022 World Cup, defeated the United States in a runoff by a group of voters that had already been trimmed because two members had been secretly filmed agreeing to sell their votes.”

Another big obstacle surrounding the World Cup in Qatar is the treatment of construction workers hired to build the stadium. There have been numerous problems surrounding the conditions that workers endure while building stadiums. Many of the people working on building the stadiums for the World Cup are migrants from countries such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Philippines. Qatar is a very wealthy country (the wealthiest in the entire world) and has been accused of exploiting the workers to build stadiums under terrible conditions. For example, workers have to carry and move very heavy materials such as concrete and other building materials while trying to protect themselves against the ruthless heat. During the summer in Qatar, the temperature can get up to about 44°C or about 112°F. Often times, construction workers can be working on site for more than 10 hours a day and don’t get enough or any food or water to last them throughout the day. In addition, workers sleep and stay in crowded, dirty apartment complexes that are shared with a lot of people. After all this mistreatment, the workers are often underpaid for their work and have to go for months without pay.

According to the Guardian, “More than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago, the Guardian can reveal. The findings, compiled from government sources, mean an average of 12 migrant workers from these five south Asian nations have died each week since the night in December 2010 when the streets of Doha were filled with ecstatic crowds celebrating Qatar’s victory.” Most of these deaths as investigated by The Guardian are recorded as ‘natural causes’ and unexplained heart or respiratory failure. In many cases, proper autopsies are not performed, so the real cause of death can go unknown for the victims of families and friends. There is simply not enough transparency from FIFA and the people overseeing the stadiums being built in Qatar. However, a contributing factor to the deaths is is heat stress due to dehydration, heat, and long work days at construction sites. As mentioned before, in the summer, the heat in Qatar is unbearable for many and there are times where food and water for the workers is scarce.

The planning of the 2022 World Cup is an exciting signal for soccer fans around the planet that a competition will soon be underway to see who the top team is. Nevertheless, there is a dark side to the planning of the World Cup due to allegations of bribery and infringements of workers rights.