The Truth of the World Cup

Max Cauchi, Staff Writer

The FIFA World Cup ended with a great final but not many people know why it started in Qatar. To determine where each World Cup would be held there is a decisive vote that FIFA officials hold, and whichever country wins is chosen to be the World Cup host country. Being the country that hosts the World Cup comes with many benefits. Senior Nicholas McLachlan believes that it “promotes tourism and would provide economic development.” It would not only provide lots of tourism, but it would also increase the publicity of the country, which further improves the economy as there is more media coverage of the country. Usually, the voting is very easy and simple, but for the recent World Cup, there has been lots of controversy; not only about the vote but also about the restricitions Qatar has and how the stadium was made.  

The voting system was compromised as bribery and corruption was very prominent in the vote to determine the 2022 world cup. BBC states that this led to Qatar bribing “four people [who] [were] detained by police investigating an alleged bribery scandal involving World Cup host Qatar are to remain in custody.” The voting system should be a just and fair system as the host country gets lots of publicity and it is great for their economy so, Qatar bribed voters to get those economic benefits for themselves. The corruption was not covered in the media much and many people still do not understand the levels it went to, including sophomore Aiden Ghandi who “did not know there was so much corruption behind the World Cup.” Many did not understand why Qatar was a better choice than other countries like Mexico or the United States which were favored to win. With Qatar winning the vote people began to prepare and research the country to understand their culture. PBS states that Qatar has strict anti-LGBTQ laws and when the time came for the World Cup matches to begin, “The captains of the teams from England, Germany, and France were planning to wear an armband with the phrase ‘One Love,’ with the colors similar to the LGBT pride flag,” This plan was quickly stopped, and the players were warned that if they did not wear regulation arm bands then they would get a yellow card. The voting scandal and anti-LGBTQ laws came with a lot of backlash towards Qatar and FIFA for approving the country to be the world cup host.  

The voting and policies were not the only thing that made Qatar unpopular. Qatar’s population consist of 2 million migrant workers, or 95% of the countries labor force of 3 million people. But these migrant workers have very unjust and unfair contracts and cannot leave the country before they are completed.  The migrant workers do not have, even barely enough water, food, or housing and because of this NPR states that more than 6,500 migrant workers from five south Asian countries had died in Qatar since 2010 from all causes – workplace accidents, car crashes, suicides and deaths from other causes, including the heat.” This unjust treatment of human life has made Qatar shine even brighter under the spotlight as they claimed only 37 died from “non-work” related accidents. This statistic was false and has made many wonders whether Qatar should be the host country for the World Cup. With all these reasons to not have the world cup in Qatar why did FIFA let them host it? It was for the money; the World Cup always brings lots of money for FIFA and the host country. Freshman Sofia Valdiva believes that the “only reason FIFA decided to have the world cup in Qatar was for money.” Even with all this controversy and bribery some good has still come from it. As more cultures and ethnicities came to Qatar for the World Cup CNN states that the “more diversity has made Qataris realize it’s time to let the shields down.” There has been an increase in acceptance of other cultures because of the exposure to other cultures that all the tourism brings, the Qataris realized as well as the government.  So even if, as, junior Coline de Cremiers states, “Hosting the World Cup brings a lot of backlash towards the country hosting it,” There can be some positive effects that come from it. 

However, this openness to other cultures is not enough to forget about the LGBTQ intolerance and migrant worker deaths, and many believe that it is the only one pro to all the cons from Qatar hosting the World Cup. With the economic growth that Qatar has received from all the tourism the government should allocate more funds into improving the migrant workers living and working conditions, and allow people be who they want to be.