World Cup uncovered

Behind the scenes of the worlds’ biggest tournament .



Aerial view of Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar, where the final will be played.

Andi Mededovic, Staff Writer

Hosted once every four years, the FIFA World Cup is supposed to be a tournament that is full of excitement and unity, bringing together people from all over the world to cheer on their national soccer teams. The 2022 Cup however, has been subject to harsh criticism and controversy. Issues stem from a variety of things, from human rights violations to potential corruption. FIFA President Gianni Infantino defended the host nation multiple times throughout interviews and speeches. Disapproval however, continues to fill the minds of millions around the world. 

“Don’t criticize Qatar,” Infantino said during a soliloquy the day before the cup began. “Don’t criticize the players. Don’t criticize anyone. Criticize FIFA. Criticize Me.”

A highly discussed issue covers the treatment of migrant workers. An estimated two million migrant workers were brought to Qatar in order to build the eight required stadiums that would host the World Cup. Out of those two million workers, a Guardian analysis from February of last year found that over 6,500 had died in Qatar since the country won the bid in 2010. The treatment of these workers is anticipated to be the reason for the high death rate. A Guardian investigation claimed that many workers were being denied essential human needs such as food and water, in labor camps with unsanitary conditions. They had their identity papers/passports taken away, keeping them from leaving the country. It was also reported that they were not paid on time. The Qatar government denies any allegations of exploiting their workers. 

Potential corruption has been another topic of debate among the media in recent weeks. Qatar had won the bid to host the World Cup back in 2010, but the legitimacy of this bid is in the air. Reporters from the Sunday Times affirmed that representatives of the Ivory Coast and Cameroon were each paid $1.5 million in exchange for supporting Qatar’s bid. Alongside other offers, the Qatari government was offering $880 million to FIFA in order to host the tournament. FIFA and the Qatari Government deny the bribing allegations.

With many people disliking this year’s World Cup as a result of the issues stated above, it’s important to know that this is not the first time that something like this has happened. The 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa was reportedly also bribed, with the country paying $10 million in order to gain votes for the bid. The 2014 World Cup hosted by Brazil received large amounts of backlash from natives living in the country. Many protested the Cup, holding signs with the words “FIFA go home” and “We don’t need the World Cup.” They believed that the billions of dollars being spent on the World Cup would have been better off being put into education and healthcare.