Qatar should never have been allowed to host World Cup


Jack Salego

The World Cup has been a beacon for equality since it started 93 years ago. Thirty-two nations set aside their politics, to a degree, to compete against each other in the world’s biggest sport. The 11-versus-11 aspect of soccer brings a team aspect to the table that the Olympics don’t exactly bring. It’s awesome, and always has been. 

That’s why everyone on planet Earth, and that is not an understatement, was scratching their heads when they heard that Qatar was hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Middle East is full of controversy, which is nothing new. FIFA knew what it was getting itself into when it decided to hand a beacon of equality over to an Islamic Nation, whose beliefs explicitly infringe on equality. 

Qatari laws are Islamic laws, which means that same-sex relationships are strictly prohibited. The country imposes fines and imprisonment for violating these laws. You don’t have to delve deep into the country or the Middle East as a whole to see why this is a problem.

LGBTQ+ people, both players and fans, under Islamic laws, can’t truly be themselves as they represent or cheer for their country. There is no other way to look at it. This reason alone should’ve been a major red flag, but it’s so obvious why it wasn’t.

FIFA, at the end of the day, is a business. It will take the highest bidder’s offer to host the World Cup. The problem with this is that FIFA doesn’t stand for what Qatar stands for. It is an even more baffling investment once you realize that Budweiser is an official sponsor of the World Cup. Islam views beer as an intoxicant, which means it is banned in Qatar. But again, FIFA came to Qatar as a business venture, and so the laws were changed. Qatar announced months in advance that the sale of beer was strictly prohibited. 

Days before the first match, Qatar took back its statement and beer would be sold on World Cup grounds. That was an embarrassing moment for everyone. On one hand, FIFA exposed its greed by convincing a country to change its laws just so more money could be made. On the other, Qatar went against its religious code. Both parties just wanted money.  

This World Cup was full of controversy, and it didn’t take 20/20 vision to see it coming beforehand. The World Cup has never been hosted in a Middle Eastern country, and it’s not like Qatar had done anything significant in recent years to make itself any better of a candidate than anyone else.

On top of the human rights and ethical problems listed, the tournament also had other issues arise. Hundreds of migrant workers died in the process of the construction of the stadiums, but making this worse is the fact that some of these stadiums were being torn down the day after the games were over. For people that did enjoy the games, they had trouble enjoying the rest of the experience. Fans complained of horrible housing conditions and arrangements. 

This whole disaster will look even worse whenever you realize that North America is hosting the next World Cup. The lack of inclusivity in the Qatar World Cup will get an even worse reputation once America’s inclusivity is spotlighted. It is unfortunate that politics and money had such an influence on the experience of the World Cup last year. The issues can and will continue to be brought up before and during every World Cup for now on. Qatar should never have received any consideration for hosting the 2022 World Cup, and this will be a stain on the tournament forever.