Qatar World Cup: Why the 2022 match is so controversial – from migrant employee deaths to LGBT rights | World Information

Soccer followers are counting down the times till the FIFA World Cup begins in Qatar on 20 November.

The 29-day match will see as much as 1.5 million individuals descend on the Gulf state, the place matches can be held throughout eight stadiums.

However ever since soccer’s largest competitors was awarded to Qatar in 2010, it has been shrouded in controversy. Right here Sky Information appears at what the problems are.

Corruption allegations

Qatar received the bid for the 2022 Males’s World Cup over the USA by 14 votes to eight.

However given the nation’s strict Islamic legal guidelines, its questionable human rights file, and searing temperatures, there have been quick corruption issues over the choice.

Quickly after, FIFA commissioned its personal investigation into Qatar’s strategies, which discovered “no proof of any improper exercise by the bid group”.

However one US lawyer, Michael Garcia, whose identify was on the report, discovered that some Qatari conduct “might not have met the requirements required by FIFA”.

Qatari businessman Mohamed bin Hammam was on FIFA’s 24-man government committee from 1996 to 2011, finally turning into its vice chairman.

Mohamed Bin Hammam in May 2011
Mohamed bin Hammam in Could 2011

However he was banned from all football-related exercise by the FIFA Ethics Committee in 2011.

The ban was later dropped as a result of an absence of proof however reinstated over his “conflicts of curiosity” the next 12 months.

In 2014, The Sunday Instances revealed the ‘FIFA information’, which it claimed revealed how Mr bin Hammam had made dozens of funds totalling greater than $5m (£4.32m) to soccer officers from varied international locations to certain up Qatar’s bid.

He was mentioned to have exploited his place inside FIFA to bribe others into giving his residence nation the votes it wanted to win the match.

The Al Bayt Stadium, which is designed to look like a traditional Qatari tent, is one of the stadiums that have been created for the World Cup in November. Pic: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
The Al Bayt Stadium. Pic: AP


In addition to corruption allegations, FIFA additionally seemed into how the intense warmth in Qatar would have an effect on the match.

Normally the World Cup occurs in the summertime, however this may have meant groups taking part in in temperatures of as much as 43C (109F).

In 2015 FIFA mentioned the match would as a substitute run from November to December, when circumstances could be a lot cooler – between 26C (79F) and 21C (70F).

It will even be a shorter match – lasting for simply 29 days as a substitute of the conventional 32 – and the newly-built stadiums would have particular cooling expertise.

The choice to maneuver the match to winter was extremely controversial with European groups and their leagues threatening to sue over potential match clashes.

Migrant workers

Migrant employees

Seven of the eight stadiums getting used for the match have been constructed from scratch, with the eighth present process main renovation.

The Gulf state’s small inhabitants of below three million has meant most individuals concerned in building have been employees from overseas.

Qatar’s ‘kafala system’ is a set of labour legal guidelines which permit Qatari people or companies to confiscate employees’ passports and cease them leaving the nation.

Human rights teams say this has given builders free reign to take advantage of them – exposing them to gruelling working circumstances for little pay and never permitting them to go residence till tasks materialise.

There have been experiences of migrant employee deaths that vary from just a few dozen to a number of thousand within the 12 years of preparation for the match.

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Grieving household of lifeless migrant employee seek for solutions

The Worldwide Commerce Union Confederation places the determine at 7,000 by the point the match begins, whereas the Qatari authorities say there have been three work-related and 34 non-work-related fatalities in that point.

Among the many important causes of dying are highway accidents, falls from tall constructions, publicity to mechanical forces and self-harm.

The Sunday Instances has additionally reported Nepali migrant employees growing long-term kidney illness or dying from the consequences of warmth exhaustion.

Qatar says its kafala system has been partially dismantled and allegations of human rights abuses are unfair.

Learn extra:
Away from World Cup – Qatar migrant employee’s household grieves
Drunk followers can be despatched to particular sobering up zones
Similar-sex {couples} refused at some Qatar lodges

The match’s chief government Nasser al Khater has instructed Sky Information that the reported numbers of employee deaths “don’t mirror the truth for building employees on World Cup websites”.

“We have now been unfairly handled… it’s publicly obtainable info,” he mentioned.

Qatar organisers have additionally mentioned: “Defending the well being, security, safety, and dignity of each employee contributing to this World Cup is our precedence.”

The Lusail Stadium which will host the 2022 Qatar World Cup final
The Lusail Stadium

LGBT rights

Qatar’s Sharia regulation means same-sex sexual exercise has punishments starting from seven years in jail to dying by stoning.

In response to the UK official journey recommendation for Qatar: “Host authorities have said that ‘everyone seems to be welcome’ on the World Cup.

“They’ve publicly confirmed there can be no restrictions on non-married associates or {couples} (together with LGBT individuals) staying in the identical room.”

There have nonetheless been experiences of some same-sex {couples} being refused bookings at World Cup lodges.

Normally non-married {couples} additionally face punishment for participating in any intimacy.

Qatari officers have mentioned they won’t change their legal guidelines on the LGBT neighborhood, however no visiting fan can be discriminated towards on the match.

Supporters will be capable of wave rainbow flags and maintain palms, however whether or not gamers can put on rainbow ‘one love’ armbands is a choice for FIFA, Mr Al Khater instructed Sky Information.

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World Cup chief Nasser Al Khater tells Sky Information homosexual followers can be welcome to show affection and rainbow flags

He mentioned: “All we ask is for individuals to be respectful of the tradition.

“On the finish of the day, so long as you do not do something that harms different individuals, if you happen to’re not destroying public property, so long as you are behaving in a means that is not dangerous, then everyone’s welcome and you don’t have anything to fret about.”

A current report by Human Rights Watch discovered that LGBT Qataris have been being arbitrarily arrested for his or her sexuality or gender as lately as September.

It claimed some had been locked in underground prisons and subjected to verbal and bodily abuse.

Transgender individuals mentioned they’d been compelled into conversion remedy.

Excessive-profile footballers, together with members of the England, Wales, and Australia groups – and broadcaster Gary Lineker have voiced their issues about LGBT individuals’s rights in Qatar.

Mr Lineker says he is aware of of two homosexual footballers who he hopes will come out throughout the World Cup in protest.

Harry Kane One Love  armband
cleared pic via  Thomas Driscoll
Harry Kane wears a ‘one love’ armband. Pic: Thomas Driscoll

Remedy of girls

Underneath Sharia regulation, ladies in Qatar are closely restricted – and required to acquire permission or be accompanied by a devoted male guardian – their father, brother or husband – when getting married, finding out, working in authorities jobs, travelling overseas and receiving some sorts of reproductive healthcare.

They don’t have main guardian rights for his or her youngsters – even when they’re divorced and have authorized custody.

Inside a wedding, a girl might be deemed ‘disobedient’ for not submitting to her husband’s calls for.

Overseas nationals will need to have a similar-style male guardian to acquire visas and wish their permission to acquire a driver’s licence and work within the nation.

Girls are anticipated to decorate modestly, with their shoulders and legs coated, and might be requested to depart premises if not.

Mr Al Khater has mentioned that ladies is not going to be stopped from watching the World Cup, including: “In Qatar, we’ve no restrictions on ladies’s entry to the stadium. They’ve been attending matches for a very long time.”

Three feminine referees are presiding over main males’s video games for the primary time at Qatar 2022.

Alcohol consumption

Normally alcohol consumption is restricted to lodges and bars in Qatar – and different licenced premises for overseas guests offering they’re over 21.

However as a way to host the match, officers have needed to lengthen licences past that – to outdoors stadiums and in fan zones.

Alcohol may even be on sale inside stadiums for 3 hours earlier than and one hour after each match – however not throughout.

In an interview with Sky Information, head organiser Mr Al Khater revealed there can be devoted zones the place drunken followers can sober up.

“It is a spot to ensure that they maintain themselves secure, they don’t seem to be dangerous to anyone else.”

In response to the UK journey recommendation, rowdy followers may very well be vulnerable to getting on the incorrect facet of the authorities if they’re impolite.

“Swearing and making impolite gestures are thought of obscene acts and offenders might be jailed and/or deported,” it says. “Take specific care when coping with the police and different officers.”

A sign for the Qatar World Cup


With 1.5 million individuals anticipated to journey to the match, the Qatar Tourism Authority has mentioned there are solely round 33,000 lodge rooms obtainable.

Experiences declare non-public flats and cruise ships are being made into fan lodging, however travellers say they’ve proved troublesome to entry.

One choice being provided, which has been broadly slated by followers, is ‘five-star seashore tenting’.

Tourism officers say the seashore cabanas can be of the best high quality.

However as one England fan instructed Sky Information: “I do not suppose many fancy tenting in a desert, in reality I do not know anybody that has signed as much as that choice.”

Some followers are staying in neighbouring Dubai, the place legal guidelines are much less strict for overseas nationals, and travelling to Qatar for every sport.

What does Qatar say?

After Australia turned the primary group to launch a bunch assertion criticising Qatar for its poor human rights file, a spokesperson for Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Supply and Legacy mentioned: ”We commend footballers utilizing their platforms to lift consciousness for necessary issues.

“We have now dedicated each effort to making sure that this World Cup has had a transformative influence on enhancing lives, particularly for these concerned in developing the competitors and non-competition venues we’re accountable for.

“Defending the well being, security, safety, and dignity of each employee contributing to this World Cup is our precedence.”


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