FIFA World Cup 2022: Everything that is wrong with Qatar’s $200bn sports-washing

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is all set to kick off on the 20th of November in Qatar with the hosts taking on Ecuador.

While the return of football’s mega-event is a cause for celebration for football fanatics across the globe, the hype and enthusiasm surrounding the marquee event have understandably died down ever since Qatar was awarded the right to host the tournament.

While there are a number of reasons behind the apathy towards Qatar hosting football’s biggest carnival, here at the Hard Tackle we look at some of the fundamental problems with Qatar’s $200 billion sports washing.

Embed from Getty Images

Violation of human rights

The concerns surrounding human rights violations have been a major issue in the Middle East for years and these issues have now been magnified with Qatar in the limelight.

The horrifying number of deaths as far as the migrant workers are concerned in the lead-up to the World Cup is enough to send shivers down the spine. According to a report from Guardian, an approximate number of 6500 migrant workers have died due to working in extreme conditions in Qatar.

In terms of infrastructure, Qatar was simply not qualified to host an event as big as the World Cup when they won the rights to it. However, the Middle East nation managed to overcome the odds with their tried and tested formula of throwing money at problems.

The transformation that followed since is nothing short of spectacular – but at what cost?

Embed from Getty Images

It wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that seven brand new stadiums Qatar have unveiled over the last few years have been built on an empire of death.

On top of that, there have been numerous cases of forced labour and unfair compensation. As per Amnesty International, thousands of migrant labours were faced with delayed payments as they continued to toil in unsafe, inhumane working conditions.

The cycle of labour abuse and exploitation has been central to Qatar’s preparations for the grand sporting event.

Lack of inclusivity

Qatar’s laws and policies towards LGBT rights are nothing short of abysmal.

A country hosting the World Cup should be opening its doors to the rest of the world and welcoming people from across the globe with warmth and inclusivity regardless of their sexuality, gender, religious beliefs etc.

Qatar remains a nation where homosexuality is a criminal offence and is punishable by imprisonment.

While football continues to boast of being the most inclusive sport on the planet, the greatest footballing spectacle in the world will be held on grounds that are still shackled by old-fashioned and barbaric beliefs.

Embed from Getty Images

Lack of press freedom

The lack of independent media in Qatar is alarming and the consequences of that have already started filtering into the tournament coverage.

With the global media on their way to Qatar for the upcoming World Cup, several journalists and broadcasters have already been faced with problems because of the stringent media laws that have curbed their freedom of expression.

A number of cases have already been shared on social media recently where foreign broadcasters and presenters have been threatened by the local law enforcement authorities and were warned that the camera equipment would be broken if they continued filming.

Climatic challenges

As the football world gears up for the first-ever winter World Cup, climatic challenges remain a major concern.

Players from European nations are not used to playing in the hot and humid conditions of the Gulf nation and one can only hope that it doesn’t prove damaging to the health of the players.

Recently, there were reports of teams postponing their training sessions in Qatar due to the extreme heat. It is hard to envision how the players will manage to perform at a high level with intensity during the actual matches.


Embed from Getty Images

A discussion about the Qatar World Cup simply cannot end without highlighting the stunning levels of corruption FIFA were embroiled in.

A total of 22 FIFA Executive Committee members voted for Qatar as the host of the 2022 World Cup. Out of which, 15 have faced criminal charges. There have been serious accusations levelled towards football’s apex governing body for bribery and corruption. Apparently, the Qatari construction magnate Mohammed Bin Hamman made £880m worth of illicit payments to force the officials into voting for Qatar as the host of the marquee event.

All said and done, Qatar will be hoping that a successful tournament can eventually brainwash the world into overlooking the practical and ethical issues surrounding the event. After all, football’s power of masquerade remains unparalleled.

Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.