November 30, 2022

How Qatar ended up hosting the World Cup

5 min read


With the World Cup now underway in Qatar, many are wondering how this moment came about – that a small Gulf nation with little football history is hosting the sport’s biggest event.

Qatar had never before appeared in a World Cup tournament – let alone a single stage – and became the first host nation to lose the tournament’s opening game. 2-0 loss against Ecuador on Sunday.

It was 12 years since the country’s World Cup debut, a period in which Qatar’s hosting status has sparked controversy within the footballing community and beyond.

When Qatar was nominated to host the 2022 World Cup in 2010, it was chosen ahead of bids from the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

During the bidding process, it faced several hurdles as soccer’s governing body, FIFA, raised concerns in technical reports. These include the lack of existing infrastructure and the region’s extreme heat in summer, when World Cup tournaments are traditionally held.

In fact, reports even labeled Qatar’s bid as “high risk”, but the country nevertheless won the final round of balloting with 14 votes to the USA’s eight.

At the time, Qatar promised to make the world “the Middle East proud” as the first country in the region to host the tournament, while then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter called football’s showpiece event ” The prospect of going to “new lands” was welcomed.

He said that I am a happy president when we talk about the development of football.

Twelve years later, there is Blatter. more important.

Earlier this month, he told the Swiss newspaper Tagus Enziger: “Qatar is a mistake … the choice was bad.

“It’s too small of a country. Football and the World Cup are too big for that.

Blatter said FIFA amended the criteria in 2012 in light of concerns over working conditions at tournament-related construction sites in Qatar for the selection of host nations.

“Since then, social concerns and human rights are taken into account,” he said.

with A population of three millionSmaller than Connecticut, Qatar has invested billions in its soccer infrastructure to prepare for the 2022 tournament.

But questions persist about how Qatar won the right to host the World Cup.

As recently as March 2020, the US Department of Justice alleged that Russia and Qatar were rigged as part of the voting process to select Russia and Qatar as tournament hosts for the 2018 and 2022 events. A bribe was taken. False in a statement to CNN.

The DOJ has been investigating allegations of corruption in international soccer, including FIFA, for years. To date, more than two dozen convictions have been made and some trials are ongoing.

In April 2020, FIFA said in a statement that it “supports all investigations into alleged acts of criminal wrongdoing in relation to domestic or international football competitions and law enforcement officials investigating such cases”. Will continue to provide full support.

“FIFA is closely monitoring these investigations and all relevant developments in the ongoing legal process in the United States and other parts of the world.

“It is important to point out that FIFA itself has been given victim status in the US criminal proceedings and that senior FIFA officials are in regular contact with the US Department of Justice.”

FIFA was branded a victim by US prosecutors for what they saw as a near-hijacking of soccer’s world governing body by many corrupt individuals.

Qatar’s human rights record has also been the focus of attention, especially in the run-up to the World Cup. Welfare of Migrant Labourers.

Given the minimal infrastructure Qatar had when awarded the World Cup hosting rights, seven new stadiums have been built ahead of the tournament, as well as new hotels and extensions to the country’s airport, rail networks and highways. has gone

According to Amnesty International, it has relied on migrant workers from Qatar, who make up 90 percent of the total workforce.

Human rights organizations have found that since 2010, many migrant workers have faced delays or unpaid wages, forced labor, long hours in hot weather, employer intimidation, and the country’s sponsorship system, respectively. Failure to quit has been experienced.

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 19: FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 opening match on November 19, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

The FIFA president blasted Western critics of Qatar.

However, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) said “the health, safety and dignity of all workers working on our projects remains stable,” with “significant improvements” regarding workers’ rights.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino also told CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies that he has seen “great progress” in Qatar’s labor reforms, and the International Labor Organization has noted reforms such as a non-discriminatory minimum wage that Qatar has adopted. Wala is the first country in the region.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s State-sponsored discrimination against LGBTQ people There has also been criticism in the years leading up to the World Cup.

Sex between men is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison in the country, and a report by Human Rights Watch, published last month, recently highlighted the torture of LGBT people by Qatari security forces in September. documented cases of arbitrarily arresting and “sickening” them. – Treatment in custody.

In a statement sent to CNN by the Supreme Court, it said it was committed to an “inclusive and non-discriminatory” World Cup, pointing to the fact that the country, it said, That, since receiving the award, it has hosted hundreds of international and regional sporting events. World Cup 2010.

“There were never any issues and every incident was delivered safely,” the statement said.

“Everyone is welcome in Qatar, but we are a conservative country and any public display of affection, regardless of orientation, is frowned upon. We only ask people to be part of our culture.” Be respectful.

Perhaps the most obvious sign that this World Cup is different from most is the decision to hold it in November and December instead of June and July as is the norm.

The sweltering heat during the summer months in Qatar has prompted the switch, although temperatures are forecast to soar above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) this weekend.

Other changes to the organization of the tournament have been made at the last minute.

This was announced by FIFA on Friday. Alcohol will not be sold in the stadium.and then on Monday the captains of the seven nations were warned that they would. Get a yellow card if they have an armband that promotes inclusion and opposes discrimination.

FIFA announced earlier on Monday that it had stepped up its “No Discrimination” campaign – which also includes a designated armband – and added that “all 32 captains will be required to wear this armband” during the World Cup. There will be a chance.”

FIFA’s equipment regulations state that “for FIFA final competitions, the captain of each team must wear a captain’s armband provided by FIFA.”

Time will tell what the legacy of this World Cup will be, but if the past few days, months and years are anything to go by, it is likely to be complex and controversial.

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