FIFA. A wonderful corporation aiming to unite the world and provide joy to those all over by providing us with top quality football.
Sounds pretty nice right?
Well as it turns out, FIFA isn’t actually all it’s cracked up to be with cases of corruptions with money laundering, racketeering, bribery, fraud (Ingraham, 2015) and breaches of human safety, rights and wellbeing surfacing in the past few years since the announcement that Russia and then Qatar are to host the next two World Cup games (BBC News, 2015).
Just to start with the basics, FIFA is the International Football body are the organisers of the four yearly FIFA World Cup matches, which is one of the biggest, if not the single biggest international sporting events in the world.
These World Cups are loved and watched by millions of people globally which makes being the country to host it a big deal as it not only provides the country with a great deal of tourism and incoming wealth but also puts the country into a global spotlight.
So, it’s not surprising that competition from countries to host the world cup is tough and is inevitably led to some of FIFA’s biggest corruption scandals. Usually, to be considered to host a World Cup, a country has to present itself to a panel of 24 FIFA comity members over a course of time, who will eventually vote on which country will host the next games (Pedley, 2015).
I suppose it once may have been about voting for what country would really be worthy of the World Cup but sadly as it turns out, it is about how much money a country can offer to not only FIFA, but usually to certain members of the comity.
This is made evident through the announcement that the host of the 2022 World Cup is Qatar. Not only is the country surrounded in human rights issues (Pedley, 2015) but is also it is so obscenely hot that the players would be expected to play in 45 degree or above heats.
On top of this, Qatar has a range of strict policies in place that could completely compromise the FIFA games for tourists one being that woman aren’t allowed in to any sporting stadiums. Another being a total alcohol ban across the county. Not only does this create problems as Budweiser is one of FIFA’s major sponsors, but if laws were changed to allow the sale of Budweiser in the stadium, what will happen to the tourists affected by alcohol (which is also illegal) once they are out on the streets after the matches?
All of these questions have left people asking how could FIFA even consider this country to host the World Cup, and the answer is money.
On top of the ‘mishap’ with the voting process that should have seen Qatar unfit for hosting the World Cup, Qatar is now using thousands of immigrants in what has been dubbed as modern day slave labour (Coulter, 2015) to erect stadiums that are to be used in the World Cup.
These immigrants are being sent from all over to Qatar with the promise of work and hope of a better life, but are instead being literally forced to stay and work up to 16 hour days in appalling conditions day by day, by companies who are taking and withholding all of their immigration paperwork, leaving them with no way to leave the country and no other choice but to continue working.
This is not only a massive breach of human rights that FIFA should be appalled to be associated with but has caused the death of over 1000 workers so far with the estimated death toll to reach over 4000 by the time of the Cup (Coulter, 2015).
FIFA as a corporation who has elected this country ‘fit’ to host the games should be just as responsible for the poor treatment and deaths of all immigrants involved. The fact that FIFA has done nothing to intervene shows the level of corruption and money that must be truly involved with the picking of Qatar.
Ingraham, C 2015, ‘(UPDATED) The toll of human casualities in Qatar’, The Washington Post, 27 June, viewed 5 Spetember 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/27/a-body-count-in-qatar-illustrates-the-consequences-of-fifa-corruption/.
Fifa corruption crisis: Key questions answered 2015, BBC News, viewed 5 Spetmeber 2015, <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32897066>.
Coulter, B 2015, ‘Why Australia should boycott the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar’, The Age, 6 June, viewed 5 September 2015, < http://www.theage.com.au/comment/why-australia-should-boycott-the-fifa-world-cup-2022-in-qatar-20150604-ghgmgb.html>.
Pedley, K 2015, It’s time to think about boycotting the Qatar World Cup, New Statesman, viewed 5 September 2015, <http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/05/its-time-think-about-boycotting-qatar-world-cup>.