The Controversies That World Cup 2022 Sparked.

The assigning of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar sparked a variety of issues and disputes over both Qatar’s viability as a host country and the integrity of the FIFA bidding process. Several media sources, sporting experts, and human rights organizations criticized the event, citing issues such as Qatar’s lack of football history, the high expected cost, the climate conditions, and Qatar’s human rights reputation. Several suspicions of bribery have been leveled against the Qatar bid group and FIFA members and officials.

Migrant laborers, claims of enslavement, and deaths

The treatment of laborers employed to build the infrastructure was one of the most contentious topics revolving around the Qatar World Cup. According to Human Rights Watch and the International Trade Union Confederation, the Kafala system subjects migrant workers to systemic exploitation. Workers are not permitted to change employment or even leave the country without the consent of their sponsor. Amnesty International alleged severe exploitation in November 2013, involving workers being forced to sign fake declarations indicating they had gotten their salaries to reclaim their passports.

Sharan Burrows of the ITUC described the employees as essentially slaves after witnessing a labor camp. According to the Qatar 2022 Committee: “We aim to enhance working conditions to leave a legacy of better worker welfare. We understand that this will not be accomplished overnight. However, the FIFA World Cup in 2022 is serving as a stimulus for progress in this area.” Even though Qatar announced measures to better safeguard migrant workers in May 2014, little progress has been made one year later. Even if the improvements promised by Qatar are fulfilled, businesses will retain significant control over workers. For instance, a suggested regulation that salaries be paid into a specified bank account will not apply to workers who are paid in cash.

Maya Kumari Sharma, the Nepalese ambassador to Qatar, stated that Qatar has to turn into an open jail for employees from her country. According to a September 2013 report by The Guardian, a number of Nepalese laborers have faced terrible working conditions as corporations in charge of building infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup pressured workers to stay by denying them agreed wages and withholding relevant worker ID permits, making them illegal immigrants. The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of laborers in Qatar, face exploitation and mistreatment that amount to modern-day slavery, according to The Guardian. One Nepalese worker has died every day in Qatar. Video footage that accompanied The Guardian’s piece showed immigrants living in filthy and decrepit labor camps. Workers told The Guardian that they were offered substantial pay before traveling to Qatar, but their contracts were revoked after they landed. Some said they had not been compensated in months, but the construction companies refused to provide them worker IDs or passports, trapping them. Workers recounted being abused and having to beg for meals. They could attempt to flee, but if they were caught without legal documentation, they would be jailed.

The Qatari government contributed $824 million in April 2020 to cover the salary of foreign workers under quarantine or receiving COVID-19 treatment. The Qatari government established a monthly minimum salary of 1,000 riyals (US$275) for all workers in August 2020, an increase compared to the previous temporary minimum wage of 750 riyals per month. The revised legislation was effective in March 2021. “Qatar is the first country in the region to introduce a non-discriminatory minimum wage,” according to the International Labour Organization, “which is part of a series of historical reforms of the country’s labor laws,” while Migrant Rights said the new minimum wage was too cheap to meet migrant workers’ needs given Qatar’s cost of living. Furthermore, companies must pay 300 riyals for meals and 500 riyals for accommodation if they do not supply them directly to employees. The No Objection Certificate was abolished, allowing employees to change employment without the approval of their present employer. In addition, a Minimum Wage Committee was created to oversee the execution.

LGBT status in the nation

In the media, the legal standing of homosexuality in Qatar has received much interest. According to the Gay Times, there are no documented examples in Qatar where capital punishment has been applied for homosexuality. Initially, FIFA President Sepp Blatter stated: “I would advise them to avoid any sexual activity,” he later added, “We don’t want any prejudice. What we want to accomplish is make this game accessible to everyone, across all cultures, and that is exactly what we are doing in 2022”. Following reports that Qatar would implement medical screening tests to identify and prevent homosexuals from entering the nation, LGBT campaigner Peter Tatchell stated that “FIFA now has no choice except to call off the World Cup in Qatar.” There is, however, no such screening test. This suggestion came from Kuwait, not Qatar, as was later discovered.