The final whistle: the Qatar scandal

In the historic Berlin Olympics, host of the 2006 World Cup final, Bayern Munich faced struggling league leaders Hertha Berlin. Among the roaring fans was a red banner with white letters reading “Shame on you” in German, “Schämt Euch”. These are the words written by Bayern fans in protest against the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Hertha fans also carried a banner condemning the tournament. Some 400 kilometers to the west, Dortmund’s iconic yellow wall displayed a series of important banners, one of which clearly reflected the sentiment of the Bundesliga – Qatar Boycott 2022.

The disgusting reality is that the 28-day tournament claimed the lives of thousands of migrant workers. The so-called beautiful game has become a profit machine for the Qatari elite who are likely to have front row seats to the world’s biggest sporting event.

64 matches took place after decades of exploitation, inhumane conditions and outright abuse. The Guardian estimates that more than 6,500 Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan migrant workers have died since the Gulf state was granted controversial residency rights in 2010. As with most officially reported numbers, this is likely to be less than Estimate the actual death toll. . This does not take into account workers from other countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Migrant workers in Qatar make up more than 95% of the workforce and 90% of its population. Of the two million migrant workers, half work in construction. A recent France 24 documentary depicts these “prisoners of the desert” and the dismal conditions of their accommodation in the camps, far from the architectural marvels they built: compact rooms without fans or air conditioning, a lack of cooking facilities and unhygienic bathrooms. The combinations leave many men hopeless.

The infamous kafala system is at the root of exploitative practices in Qatar. Under this sponsorship system, domestic workers are not protected by national labor laws and contracts and may vary from company to company. Passports can be confiscated and some escape attempts are punishable by imprisonment or deportation. Despite changes to the sponsorship system, i.e. changes in the worker’s ability to change jobs and the establishment of a new minimum wage, “the legal status of the worker in Qatar remains linked to a specific employer,” according to Human Rights Watch. . These employers often retain control over food and housing, both of which are necessary to survive in the scorching Gulf heat.

Players and managers across Europe have expressed their dissatisfaction with the tournament. Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal criticized FIFA’s argument for bringing the game to the Arab world to develop the sport, saying the move was about “money”. [and] commercial interests.” In late September, Denmark launched its own World Cup squads with motives aimed at condemning the host country. Danish manufacturer Hummel has created a uniform that camouflages team and company badges in the color of the jersey, in an attempt to minimize its presence at such an outrageous event. A special all-black design was also created to symbolize and mourn the loss of thousands of migrant workers.

For the LGBTQ community, Qatar presents another significant obstacle, as homosexuality is punishable by the death penalty, as local police continue to brutally abuse community members. Qatar’s promise of greater flexibility for immigrant LGBT fans demonstrates their enduring belief in discrimination in the sexual orientation of their citizens. Under Article 285 of the National Penal Code, same-sex relationships can result in imprisonment of up to seven years while there have been several incidents of seemingly arbitrary arrest. A video posted by the Australian team on October 26 called for homosexuality to be decriminalized while the German Football Association claimed captain Manuel Neuer would wear a rainbow ‘one love’ badge during their matches. Although these individual protests foster sympathy and acceptance, they are not powerful enough to force widespread change. FIFA itself must commit to investigating the Qatari government and working together to reform these regulations.

The bottom line is that Qatar should not host the World Cup. Soccer is the game of the world, and it unites communities through a shared passion. Its strength lies in its universality and the fact that anyone can play and enjoy it. Every country has its values, and these should be respected, but if a country cannot be inclusive, it does not deserve the honor of hosting this tournament.

In a few weeks, he will shell out millions to kick off the tournament in Creek City, where he will face host country Ecuador. Once the Games begin, people will forget about the injustice and corruption inherent in the hosting rights in Qatar. Every four years, the world comes to a standstill as its soccer nations gather for a month-long sporting festival. Emotions will rise and history will be written, but we must not forget the true cost behind the glamor of this “beautiful” game.

Leave a Comment