Should Qatar be hosting the World Cup?
December 14, 2022
To be a World Cup it must be held globally
Every four years, when the World Cup returns, fans expect the best. The list of countries that can actually host the event is pretty short. Though Qatar may not have been the perfect choice, it’s important to have major events in countries that we may not relate too to truly be a world event; the benefits outweigh the issues.
Qatar is one of the wealthiest countries in the Arab world, which impacted how they approached this year’s World Cup. They spent $300 billion on the stadiums to even host the World Cup, which has created record attendance numbers. For the event, Qatar made seven stadiums varying from a capacity of 44,000 to 88,000. They have already broken the record for the largest attendance for a single game in 28 years with Mexico versus Argentina, which had 88,966 spectators.
Traditionally, host countries inflate the attendance numbers, but whether the attendance numbers of the stadiums are exaggerated or not, they are still bringing an immense amount of profit to FIFA. This year has brought them $7.5 billion which is a jump up by more than a billion from 2018’s in Russia. This affects players in a good way with teams now getting a bigger prize pool. While money is not the only measure of World Cup success, it is still a major factor.
More important, however, is the World Cup’s role in bringing countries together, even through any cultural or political divisions that may be present. When Saudi Arabia beat Argentina in their opening game, it not only sparked shock from the world, but it also brought the Arab nations together, celebrating a major win against one of the best teams in the world.
Qatar leading up to the World Cup were accused of using forced labor to build the stadiums. While these issues in no way are excused, having the tournament here brings light to these issues. If Qatar would never have hosted, then the knowledge that people have now wouldn’t be present in the minds of the fans. This is the same situation with the 2022 Olympics being hosted in China. The 2022 Olympics were boycotted as well due to the Uyghur genocide in China which shadowed the event. Most people didn’t know about the genocide until then which helped start raising further awareness.
Qatar was never going to be the perfect country for the World Cup, as each country has their own struggles whether some may be more extreme than others. The spirit of the World Cup though doesn’t lie within the host country but in the tournament itself. No matter where the Cup is hosted, countries will still attend to see if their team can go all the way.
Qatar should not have hosted this year’s World Cup
The World Cup: FIFA’s most prestigious soccer competition, where only the 32 best international teams get to compete. Millions of people tune in to cheer for their national team; some even experience the emotional roller coaster in person. The colorful and diverse tournament has been celebrated for years, but there are many underlying issues in this year’s World Cup that need to be addressed.
Qatar was named the host nation of the 2022 World Cup 12 years ago. Since then, many divulgences about the manner in which Qatar was selected and what the nation has done to meet World Cup needs have come to the forefront.
The Kalifa system is the main reason for Qatar’s controversy, known to critics as a form of modern slavery. Companies recruit workers in poverty with promises of good pay, but ask for a recruitment fee of $1,000 to $4,000. Once in Qatar, they are forced to sign papers, stating they will not be allowed to change jobs and confiscate their passport. They are crammed into small, unhygienic spaces and made to work through temperatures of up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Without a legal way to return home, workers have no other option than to stay. During the constructions of the World Cup venues, an estimated 6,000 workers died from the harsh work conditions.
Human rights violations are far from the only problems. Qatar’s bid has been filled with allegations of bribery that may have taken place to help Qatar. Investigation discovered a payment of $2 million in efforts to help Qatar’s election.
Typically, FIFA’s executives evaluate the competence of a host nation in a scale from zero through five. FIFA asks countries to meet the following guidelines: 12 stadiums that meet a capacity of 40,000 to 80,000 people; transportation that meet a minimum capacity of 1,450 passengers per hour; and 72 ‘base camp’ hotels for teams and referees etc. The official Qatar evaluation showed that three stadiums had to undergo an immense renovation while the other nine had to be built from scratch.
These constructions led to the Khalifa system to be reinforced, and once the truth of the labor conditions came out, FIFA did not even condemn the Qatari government for their human rights violations.
Qatar simply should have never been elected to be the host nation for this year’s World Cup. Although the achievement of becoming the first Arab country to host the event allows for growth in representation, perhaps it should have waited. When the infrastructure could be constructed by a humanely treated work-force and with a list of met requirements.