Organizers of the 2022 World Cup have come under fire for their human rights record. The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has said that the state of Qatar has been put through an unprecedented campaign. The campaign has included double standards and fabrications, according to the emir.
One of the biggest scandals of the tournament has been the deaths of migrant workers in Qatar. A study by the Guardian revealed that over 6,500 migrant workers from South Asia have died in the past two years while working on the construction of the World Cup stadiums. Some of the conditions were in line with the International Labour Organisation definition of forced labour. Some workers have been beaten and abused, according to Amnesty International, which conducted interviews with workers.
There has also been an outcry about the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community. There are laws against homosexuality in the Qatari Penal Code. Same-sex relationships are criminalized, and a rape victim could be sentenced to seven years in prison. But penalties are rarely enforced.
Human Rights Watch and other organizations have released reports detailing the treatment of migrant workers. These organizations have called for safe channels for workers to file complaints and for a compensation fund to be set up. But the government of Qatar has so far refused to investigate the deaths of workers and their families. And a compensation fund has so far been largely ineffective. It has paid out more than $350 million in compensation so far, but the amount has not covered the cost of the migrant workers’ death or injury.
The United States’ FIFA board of governors is meeting next week to discuss the scandal. The American Football Players Association also sent a letter to FIFA asking for a review of the issue. Meanwhile, a number of players in Germany, Norway and Denmark are calling for a boycott of the tournament. There have also been protests in various European countries, including France, Spain and Sweden. Some local mayors have announced that they will not set up giant screens or zones for fans to watch matches.
One of the biggest questions surrounding the World Cup is the status of the LGBTQ+ community. The United Nations and FIFA have condemned the treatment of the community, and several LGBTQ+ rights organizations have called on the world’s biggest soccer organization to address the issue. Yet despite these pleas, Fifa has yet to take the issue seriously.
There are also allegations of FIFA corruption, and many fans have raised concerns about the cost of living in Qatar, which threatens the amount of money fans will be able to spend in the country during the tournament. In response, FIFA has confirmed that it has met with the Qatar Minister of Labour, but no concrete plans have been announced. The FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, has spoken about his concern about the situation, but he has so far largely shied away from discussing it directly.