In December of 2010, the FIFA selection committee voted Qatar as the 2022 World Cup host, in a shockingly dominant vote. Qatar, a country with very little soccer history or viability, received over triple the amount of votes as the United States, and fourteen times the amount of votes as last place Australia. Almost immediately following the voting, allegations of corruption and bribery swarmed FIFA over their decision to award the prestigious event to such an unviable location. In the summer, Qatar’s temperatures routinely reach 120 degrees fahrenheit, which is unplayable for a soccer game. The proposed solution to move the tournament to the winter is not doable, as it would disrupt many soccer leagues worldwide. However, FIFA’s track record in terms of fair and ethical decisions, as well as Qatar’s inhumane methods of building the stadiums for the event, are the real questions as to how FIFA awarded the event to Qatar.
In order to build the proposed sixteen stadiums, Qatar has employed a method of labor similar to that of North Korean slave labor in order to finish the stadiums on time. Reports have stated that over 3,000 migrant workers have already died while constructing the stadiums, and projections state that over 16,000 workers are expected to die over the next eight years while constructing the stadiums. While questioned over how they allowed this to occur, FIFA has continuously stated that they do not find any wrongdoings with Qatar’s building methods. It is both odd and shocking that FIFA, a worldwide organization that promotes peace and togetherness, continues to turn a blind eye to such an atrocity of human rights, and has no desire to rescind or reconsider their vote to allow Qatar to host the 2022 event.
In order to maintain the smallest shred of credibility, FIFA decided to launch their own investigation run by their “ethics committee.” Amid numerous reports that Qatari officials bribed several high ranking FIFA officials, FIFA had to do something to combat the harsh, but likely true, allegations against them.
FIFA’s investigative findings were released in mid november of 2014, and in typical FIFA fashion, allegations of unethical practices were brought upon every other nation who vied to host the 2022 world cup besides Qatar. Even though it is blatantly obvious that the complete opposite occurred, FIFA stood by their incredibly illegitimate findings. Former executives of FIFA have claimed that at least five high ranking FIFA officials accepted bribes worth over a million dollars each from Qatari officials in 2010.
The Qatar World Cup saga is sure to drag on for a long time, and is a conflict that easily could have been avoided. FIFA has had opportunity after opportunity to rectify their mistake in awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, but have failed to do so. FIFA’s culture of secrecy, and their continuously decreasing amount of credibility will continue to slowly destroy the governing body of world soccer. In order for change to occur, a boycott of the 2022 World Cup, unless it is moved from Qatar, is necessary. A message needs to be sent to the soccer world that FIFA’s ways must be altered, and as saddening as it would be to miss a World Cup, it is the only way to send a message to FIFA that their corruption must end.