COLUMN: 2022 World Cup should be stripped from Qatar

COLUMN: 2022 World Cup should be stripped from Qatar

Lucas Koprowski, News Editor

The Qatar 2022 World Cup has been a ticket of controversy since former President of FIFA Sepp Blatter announced their winning bid in 2013. Some of the controversy has led to people scrutinizing FIFA of bribery and corruption across the board for a plethora of reasons.


This scrutiny has been backed by leaked emails obtained by British news source Sunday Times in June 2014. These emails showed former FIFA administrator Mohammed Bin Hammam paying over $5 million to African FIFA officials in exchange for their votes.


Hammam has had bribery accusations in the past within FIFA. His most notable charge was in 2011, when he was issued a life-ban from FIFA after he was caught bribing officials within FIFA to elect him president of the federation.


Although this alone has shown the blatant corruption that occurred in the location bid for the 2022 World Cup, FIFA has yet to pull the plug on the venue. Even though this alone should be enough for there to be a revote for the bid, there is a bottomless pit of reasons why this choice was a ridiculous idea in the first place.


The biggest argument against this would be the migrant worker deaths in Qatar before the announcement of the World Cup location. In a 2013 report by the International Trades Union Federation (ITUF), they found a total of 1,239 deaths of migrant workers from India and Nepal in Qatar occurred from 2011 to 2013 during labor. About 60 percent of the estimated 1.4 million migrant workers in Qatar are from India or Nepal, so the ITUF study suggests that the total death count is more likely higher.


Between 2013 and 2022, Qatar plans on expanding three current soccer stadiums and building nine new stadiums.


The location also forces a change from the usual time of year that this competition occurs.. This will be the first World Cup to have ever not been in a June or July. Instead will be held from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18. This is because of the concern that athletes will not be able to play in the harsh summer heat that Qatar is known for. Aljazeera reported the average temperature during summer there is between 95⁰F and 113⁰F.


This would force major leagues, like Barclays and bundesliga, to stop their season’s midway for a month because of the competition. This might also give players in those leagues the upper hand due to the athletes being near their physical peak.  


The size of the nation has not been considered very widely in the major criticisms, but is still a concerning manner. Qatar would be the smallest nation to ever hold a World Cup, with the second nation, Switzerland, being three times as big. The 1954 Switzerland World Cup only had 16 teams competing compared to the 32 teams for 2022.


With FIFA’s administration cleaning out corruption in baby steps, most notably with the resignation of Blatter, hopefully the federation will come to their senses and provide a revote for the location. Until they announce it, prepare to see the Qatari National Team to make their first appearance in the World Cup only to be knocked out in the primary group stages.