Preparations for FIFA 2022 World Cup

Preparations for FIFA 2022 World Cup

In 1930, the first World Cup took place and it was proposed by Jules Rimet. He wanted to create an international competition between men’s soccer teams, which occurs every 4 years. The World Cup begins with 32 teams and a round of 16, where the winner of each group plays against the runner-up of another group. Then this leads to the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, the third-place match, and then lastly the final match. The 32 national teams playing the 2022 World Cup: Qatar, Germany, Denmark, Brazil, France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, Netherlands, Argentina, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Canada, Ghana, Senegal, Portugal, Poland, Tunisia, Morocco, Cameroon, USA, Mexico, Wales, Australia, and Costa Rica.

This year the World Cup will be held in Qatar which is the first Arab nation to host the tournament. Qatar was chosen as the location because, in 2010, Qatar settled the rights to the World Cup after winning a ballot of 22 FIFA executive members, which beat bids from the US, South Korea, Japan, and Australia.

However, there have been large concerns about the violation of human rights and labor abuse going on in Qatar because of the 9 stadiums being built for the tournament. There was a man named Anish Adhikari, who is a soccer fan that came from Nepal and traveled to Qatar to work on Lusail Stadium where the World Cup final will take place. He spoke out in a news conference hosted by Equidem saying, “We did not get the salary that we promised, and, the work, that was also different than what we were told.” He said there was little food provided and there was no AC in his living quarters. He also said he and his colleagues worked in high heat with no breaks and only hot drinking water. 

Equidem, a human rights group, set investigations from September 2022 to October 2022, where researchers conducted interviews with 60 migrant workers employed across the stadiums and also spoke to a total of 982 workers which allowed them to document “significant labor and human rights law violations.” A report from the Guardian stated that over 6,500 people have died building the nine stadiums specifically for the 2022 World Cup. Many of the workers that died weren’t Qatari, they actually came from other nations so that they could make good money building the stadiums. The Equidem report also stated that World Cup construction firms ‘actively evaded labor inspections’ and made a ‘captive and controllable workforce amounting to forced labor;’ in addition, many of the workers were also exposed to COVID-19.

After more information was gathered and spread nationally, some of the teams participating in the World Cup decided to spread awareness. Officials from the English, Danish, German, Norwegian, and Swiss teams tell Rolling Stone, that their captains plan on wearing “One Love” armbands on the pitch. The manufacturer of Denmark’s team has faded the logo on its jersey as a form of protest. There has also been a continuation of a push for reform and human rights application “everywhere,” from the soccer federation of top national teams such as England, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. 

The first World Cup team to form a protest against the World Cup’s hosts Qatar was the Socceroos. This Australian team published a video message of 16 players speaking on their concern for human rights and the treatment of foreign workers and restrictions on the LGTBQI+ community. They have even directly spoken to the migrant workers on the ground in Qatar. These serious allegations may lead to greater consequences but only time will tell.