November 3, 2022 | Conflicted feelings over the Qatar World Cup
Migrant worker deaths, corruption, women and LGBTQ rights
The 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup kicks off in Qatar in just over two weeks. The US Men’s National Team is back after failing to qualify for the 2018 edition, Canada and Wales are making their first appearances of the 21st century, and former champions Italy didn’t qualify. There will be plenty of entertaining, high stakes soccer for a month with Charlotte FC hosting at least one watch party for USMNT games.
So why am I so conflicted about spending my time, energy, and money on this tournament, one of the few moments that seems to put all eyes on the game I love that is still fighting for its due here in the states?
I’m not here to convince you of anything, but I have gathered some links to well-reported articles or podcasts about this World Cup that has caused me to pause before going all out in support of it. I hope you find these helpful and informative.
The worst part is, regardless of the interviews I listen to or the exposes I read, the truth is I will probably still end up watching minimum five World Cup matches before Christmas. Because this is my favorite sport, and this is (supposedly) the pinnacle of soccer - the dream that every young player is hoping for. As I said, the World Cup is the only time the general sports fan’s attention is pulled to soccer at all and it can be useful tool to help bring in new fans to our local clubs.
But, as I think the stories below outline, the cost this go around were, in my opinion, too high a price to pay.
Amnesty International - “Qatar World Cup of Shame”
The Guardian - “Revealed: 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since World Cup awarded”
Human Rights Watch - “FIFA: Pay for Harm to Qatar’s Migrant Workers”
The Nation - “The tragic absurdity of Qatar’s World Cup sportswashing”
The Athletic - “What was promised and what is actually being delivered”
BBC News - “World Cup hosts Qatar accused of under-reporting deaths in Gulf’s killer heat” (YouTube)
Sky Sports - “Members of Qatar's LGBTQ+ community detained & abused” (YouTube)
The Russell Howard Hour - “The World Cup In Qatar Is The Most Corrupt Sporting Event Ever” (YouTube)
Crooked Media + Men in Blazers: World Cup series