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Opinion: Why I am against Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup

ANALYST
Feature
5.58K   //    25 Jul 2018, 11:18 IST

Handover ceremony for the 2022 World Cup
Is FIFA passing the baton into the wrong hands?

The whole idea of choosing Qatar to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup does not make any sense to me. Qatar has a population of about 2 million with only two major metropolitan centres. More than million people are expected to travel to attend the World Cup, and I am doubtful whether Qatar is ready with shelter and the infrastructure to deal with a 50% increase in population.

Qatar also doesn't have a footballing culture and heritage. It is and should be unquestionably a factor in deciding the host nation of the world's grandest sporting event. 

Think about cricket, and imagine if the World Cup is held in the United States, a nation that does not care about it, and has little to no interest in it.

Qatar doesn't have the stadiums, and due to the small population size, they are primarily importing workers from countries like India, China, Nepal, and North Korea. They are forced to live and work in harsh conditions. They don't have proper shelter, food, and water, and are required to work up to 14 hours per day in the heat of Qatar, which is on average 40 - 45 degrees.

They are working in potentially life-threatening situations. Qatari officials confiscate the passports of workers upon arrival in country meaning they can't leave and are forced to work as slaves. They don't get paid on time. They work for hours but only receives a fraction of their salary. The situation of North Korean workers is more dreadful as Qatar is directly paying the fees to the North Korean government. They are entirely bypassing the workers and their fundamental rights.

International Trade Union Confederation, the world's largest trade union federation claimed in a report that at least 4,000 migrant workers would lose their lives much before the commencement of the World Cup. If this report holds slightest of truth, it is terrible. People are losing their lives for our entertainment.

The 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup will kill more Indians than the numbers of players it will host. A thousand Indians had already died, and a year later, we’ve only rescued Indians from the Gulf country when bombs fell, but ignored the darker, hidden world of Indian migrants in these nations -- Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation

Due to excessive heat, Qatar will host the World Cup in January as opposed to June-July. It will cause significant interruptions in all the major soccer leagues around the world. It will be a major inconvenience for both players and the fans.

Players will need rehabilitation time after the winter World Cup, unlike the summer World Cups, where they get rest during pre-season tours. Due to Christmas and other holidays, winters are usually busiest and mass air travel in this period will only increase the problem.

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Qatar is massively against the LGBT community as if it is a crime to be a gay or a transgender in public. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, and they don't even allow any campaign for LGBT rights. Countless tourists, who labelled themselves as LGBT have faced jail time in Qatar.

"They should just not act gay in public, and leave it for their hotel rooms".-- shameful response of Sepp Blatter, former president of FIFA

It's against the law in Qatar to have alcohol in public. There are only a few restaurants able to sell it currently, and it's pretty costly if you decide to buy it. The philosophy behind consuming drinks while viewing sports is an old fan tradition.

As they say, Where there is football there is beer.

Brazil amended the laws to permit alcohol in the stadiums. You can not imagine a World Cup without the freedom to drink.

"We are against the provision of alcohol in stadiums and their surroundings. There will be no alcohol consumption on the streets, squares and public places and that is final. "-- Al-Thawadi, secretary-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy

Fans from all around the globe would be reluctant to travel to Qatar. In my opinion, FIFA made a big blunder by awarding the hosting rights to a conservative Islamic country, which still follows ancient and redundant Sharia laws.

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