Controversy in Qatar

The organization of FIFA has long stood as one of the more corrupt sports associations in the world due to President Sepp Blatter having many bribery accusations. For most followers however, the bidding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup showed Blatter’s deceit and the fact that he is unfit to rule the footballing world. In 2011 there was a race between the United States, Australia, South Korea and Japan to win the world cup bid and have their country host, all of which would have been great for the culture of the game, however, one small very rich ‘came from behind in the race’. Qatar, a small country in the Middle East , who has never assembled a FIFA certified soccer team, with a population of roughly 1.7 million people at the time, won the race and won the bid. The country is also home to 110+ degree heat in the summer, when the tournament is normally played and before the bid had a total of 0 stadiums fit for an event of this nature. 

This obviously raised many questions in the soccer world because of the pure shock. Along with the favorite being the US, the other countries all had huge support from fans and more importantly players and managers. French attacker, Frank Ribery, spoke out against Bladder claiming it was seemingly obvious that he took money to even consider Qatar for the bid. Fans were also outraged because of Qatar’s inaccessibility and questionable ethical and environmental history. 

Shortly after the bidding the fans realized that the tournament was not happening for another 11 years anyway and believed there was no way that the tournament would stay in Qatar. Once the tournament became closer and closer however, teams decided to take a stand. After an article written by British newspaper, The Guardian, stated that over 6,500 migrant working who had jobs building one of the stadiums have died since Qatar has won the bid, many of them being Muslim. Protests began in early February when Tromsø IL took a stand and called for the Norweigen team to boycott the upcoming World Cup which then followed by many other clubs joining them. The Norweigen national team agreed to boycott and showed protest by wearing shirts that say “Human Rights on and off the pitch” before their match against Gibraltar. These protests very quickly gained traction when larger football countries such as Germany and France joined the voice for human rights by writing it letter by letter on their jerseys. France has also issued a statement saying they stand with some of their Muslim players, such as star center midfielfer, Paul Pogba. The footballing world has put tons of pressure onto the organization and FIFA will no longer be able to ignore this issue, for Sepp Blatter and his team, it is time to face consequences.

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