Despite a history of scandals, allegations of corruption and bribery and a public perception that the Qatari government “bought” its hosting rights, the FIFA Executive Committee has voted to award Qatar with the 2022 World Cup. It is the first time the event will be hosted in the Middle East.
It is expected that more than a million visitors will visit Qatar for the tournament. This will give the tiny nation a huge coming out party on the international stage. The host nation has made enormous investments in sports infrastructure over the last few years. It is estimated that more than a billion dollars has been spent on football facilities, and has seen a rapid growth in its national team program.
The country’s ruling regime has been criticized for its human rights record and for discriminating against the LGBTQ community. In the years leading up to the World Cup, Qatar was criticized for the treatment of migrant workers. These workers arrived from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to work on the stadiums. These workers died in the construction process, and their families were not compensated. The International Labor Organization has said that Qatar has made positive labor reforms. However, serious human rights concerns remain.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said that Qatar has made a “great evolution” in its labor reforms. In addition, the country’s non-discriminatory minimum wage and non-discriminatory treatment of premarital relationships have been noted by international human rights organizations.
The Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee recently released a report on World Cup hosting, citing “critical points” about Qatar’s suitability for hosting the tournament. It also noted that the World Cup will be shortened to 28 days, making it shorter than the usual period of June and July. This will allow for continued infrastructure development, giving the country a strong foundation for its future growth.
Human rights groups have also expressed concern about the treatment of foreign workers. International media have tracked down the families of migrant workers, and these workers’ families have not received compensation for their labor. The International Labor Organization has noted that Qatar has a non-discriminatory minimum wage. In addition, alcohol consumption is limited in Qatar.
Critics have also questioned the upcoming World Cup, claiming that the country has a poor human rights record and that it has not been adequately prepared to handle such an event. There have been several calls for boycotts of the tournament. The mayors of several French cities have said they will not set up fan zones, or even install giant screens, to allow fans to watch the tournament. The mayors of Germany and Denmark have also expressed their concerns. However, the soccer authorities of the participating countries have refused to boycott the tournament.
In 2010, the FIFA Executive Committee awarded Qatar with the hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup. Earlier in the year, FIFA had received a complaint that the Qatari government had paid bribes to officials from Germany, Norway and France to vote for Qatar. This prompted the AP to investigate the case. The agency’s investigation based on invoices and interviews with former associates of Qatar’s bid team. The results of the investigation revealed that Qatar had hired Kevin Chalker, a former CIA officer turned private contractor, to keep tabs on critics of the country’s bid to host the tournament.