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The Right and Wrong Criticism of FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar

FIFA World Cup 2022 has kicked off with a bang in Qatar amid a flood of controversies. At one point, football fans are enjoying the thrilling matches, and at the other, critics are busy arguing about the world’s biggest sporting event in a country like Qatar. However, some of the criticism regarding this World Cup is not necessarily valid. Here is the complete outline of what is right and wrong about the concerns of the people.

What’s the Right Criticism of FIFA World Cup 2022?

Ever since FIFA awarded the World Cup to Qatar in 2010, there has been considerable backlash, particularly from western elements. Critics were upset that the football governing body chose Qatar for World Cup. There are many objections to the Middle-Eastern nation hosting the biggest football tournament in the world.


It started with the accusations of corruption that FIFA took bribes from the Qatari Emirs in order to give them the privilege of hosting the global event. The US first made this allegation in 2020, kick-starting a chain reaction. FIFA was already under investigation by the US Justice Department for corruption. It indicted around 25 FIFA executives in 2015 for participating in a 24-year scheme to make money through awarding television and marketing contracts.

Human Rights Violation

Then they alleged that the host nation was sports-washing its human rights abuses regarding migrant workers. According to reports, 6,500 labourers have died in Qatar since 2010. These workers came from developing countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka to build the infrastructure required for World Cup preparations. The organizers claimed that there were only 3 work-related deaths, while 37 were non-work-related. However, according to interviews by human rights groups like Amnesty International, workers suffered a series of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse along with wage theft, long working hours, and hazardous living and working conditions. Activists have blamed the “kafala” sponsorship system as responsible for the ill-treatment of migrant workers. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that this system exploits workers and makes them vulnerable to systemic abuse.


Qatar is also facing criticism over its views on the LGBT community for decades. International human rights groups have criticized the middle eastern nation for criminalizing intercourse between same-sex couples. The Qatari LGBT community has reported rampant harassment by security officials, but prosecutions are rare under these laws. The heaviest criticism is against the host nation banning LGBT demonstrations, such as rainbow flags and OneLove armbands. The organizers have claimed that LGBT fans are welcome to watch the games and will be safe. However, activists have continued to raise an alarm that they are afraid for the safety of gay fans.

Freedom of Expression

Qatar’s poor human rights track record also encompasses limiting freedom of expression, which riles up critics even more. The regime criminalizes dissent, blasphemy, criticism of the Emir, and spreading narratives contrasting with the state. It has also put restrictions on journalists covering this World Cup controversy. If this is why critics are against Qatar hosting World Cup 2022, then this criticism is valid. It has also pressurized the conservative nation to reform its kafala system, but human rights organizations argue that there is still room for much improvement.

What’s Wrong?

The problem with excessive criticism of World Cup 2022 is that it reeks of hypocrisy. If World Cup chose any country based on morals, then not a single country would have been able to host. Almost every other nation faces allegations of human rights abuse, like Russia and Brazil, where the last 2 World Cups took place. However, the noise was particularly loud this time when the World Cup was awarded to a Middle-Eastern country for the first time.

Biased Media Coverage

Most of the criticism is from western nations who focus on the wrong in other countries to distract from their own problems. Just like the biased English media chose not to show the World Cup’s opening ceremony on their main channel while previously forcing its diverse citizens to watch the Queen’s funeral for 10 days. It showed no regard for the communities that refused to mourn the Queen’s death over the colonial past and dared to argue whether Qatar should or should not have hosted the World Cup.

Non-Humanitarian Reasons

Some commentators don’t oppose World Cup in Qatar on humanitarian grounds. They think football belongs to the west and the Middle East is a non-football region, so it shouldn’t be held there. Moreover, some critics believe that the west has issues with FIFA World Cup because it takes place in winter, disrupting the schedule of popular leagues and other domestic tournaments. The leagues have paused their 2022-23 campaigns to allow players to compete in the World Cup from November 20 to December 18.

Unnecessary Slander

FIFA President Gianni Infantino also slammed the criticism as hypocritic. He said the Western countries were in no position to give moral lessons to others. Calling himself a European, Infantino said Europeans should apologize for what they have been doing in this world for the last 3000 years before pointing fingers at Qatar. Defending Qatar, he said he went there 6 years ago to address the issue of migrant workers, which has since improved. He further questioned the journalists to name how many businesses and countries, who were quick to throw criticism, addressed the worker’s issue with authorities.

Drinking Ban in Stadium

Infantino also responded to the criticism of the alcohol ban in stadiums. He said it was not unusual as drinking was banned in many other European nations like France, Portugal, Scotland, and Spain. So, the criticism is largely a laughing matter considering the source it’s coming from.

A I Butt
A I Butt
The purpose of my writing is to record the same voices that are repressed by manual systems.
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