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QATAR WORLD CUP: Is it too late to boycott the 2022 tournament?

 

The beginning of qualifying for the 2022 Qatar World Cup sparked questions of a boycott of the competition after teams protested pre-match.

Norway were the first to voice their concern as all their players made reference to the human rights issues surrounding the building of infrastructure for the tournament.

Both Germany and the Netherlands would show a similar stance before kick-off in their games leading to speculation about the 2022 event.

The FIFA World Cup is arguably the most prestigious tournament in all of a sport and a boycott would damage that significantly.

FIFA's image has already been decimated in recent years with the 2015 scandal that seen criminal investigations into corrupt top officials at the governing body.

 

FIFA World Cup scandals in the past

 

It related to issues surrounding a $10million payment given to FIFA to award South Africa the 2010 World Cup, as well as allegations of bribery around the awarding of the 2014 tournament to Brazil.

The Qatar World Cup allegedly involved similar bribes but no charges have been brought forward at the time of writing.

It is rumoured that Qatar paid almost $1billion to FIFA in order to win the ballot and host the tournament.

The United Kingdom were also running to host that World Cup and were believed to the front-runners until Qatar apparently bribed their way to the tournament.

Several FIFA members, including ex-president Sepp Blatter - who was banned from all football-related activity for eight years for his role in the fiasco - said it was a "mistake" to award Qatar with the 2022 World Cup.

Even the 2006 tournament in Germany was included - with apparent illegal deals taking place before the tournament was awarded.

 

Why are players protesting the Qatar World Cup and will they actually boycott the tournament?

 

It's hard to pick a place to begin. The issues with the Qatar World cup span far and wide, but we'll start with the human rights issues.

Migrant workers have played a huge part in helping to get vital infrastructure such as stadiums ready for the World Cup.

However, the conditions in which these workers have been forced to live and work in are appalling and over six thousand are believed to have died since work began.

Nepalese workers are believed to have been dying at a rate of almost one per day back in 2013 with many suffering heart-related issues.

Some of the workers allege that they have been denied drinking water, which is unfathomable considering they are working in a desert.

They also say some passports have been confiscated so they cannot return home until the building is complete.

Others say payments have been withheld for months to also stop them from being able to leave.

Then, there's the issue of LGBT fans travelling to the country.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and 'offenders' could be punished with three years in jail.

Considering FIFA want to make football for all, this is a massive contradiction.

 

Winter World Cup

 

Most people love the World Cup whether they like football or not. It is a brilliant summer pastime once every four years.

Not this time, though.

The Qatar World Cup will be held in winter, beginning on the 21st November 2022 and ending on the 18th December.

Temperatures in the country will be too high to keep players safe during their summer and therefore the tournament moved.

All stadiums are believed to be being built with air conditioning to ensure temperatures remain safe for football.

 

A Qatar World Cup Boycott - is it too late?

 

Ultimately, it is probably too little too late for the location of the tournament to be moved.

Norway haven't qualified for a World Cup since 1998 and if they do qualify will they boycott Qatar?

That's highly unlikely. If teams stood together and refused to go though, how would FIFA be able to act?

It would end up with football associations across the world paying fines and probably legal fees if Qatar decide to sue.

It's a messy situation that FIFA got themselves into, but it seems like there's no turning back.


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