Qatar should be stripped of the 2022 World Cup

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - DECEMBER 02: FIFA President Joseph S Blatter names Qatar as the winning hosts of 2022 during the FIFA World Cup 2018
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - DECEMBER 02: FIFA President Joseph S Blatter names Qatar as the winning hosts of 2022 during the FIFA World Cup 2018 /

The tiny gulf nation won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup under questionable circumstances. Qatar continues to be a source of controversy and should lose the right to host the world’s biggest sporting event

“Fake news” is all the rage these days and now it has hit the Qatar World Cup.

Over the weekend a fraudulent story was planted on Switzerland’s English language website The Local.  The article stated that Saudi Arabia and five other Arab countries had sent notice to FIFA demanding that Qatar not be allowed to host the 2022 World Cup. The report referred to Qatar as a ‘base of terrorism’.

As it turns out the story was false and had been planted. The Local co-founder James Savage issued a statement: “Our investigation so far indicates the article appeared on a fake site designed to look like The Local, and never appeared on The Local’s own site.”

The political situation in the Middle East is troubling. However, on football terms alone Qatar is completely undeserving of hosting the 2022 World Cup.

Here are just a few of the reasons:

The tournament was awarded to Qatar over more deserving nations such as Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States. Since then FIFA President Sepp Blatter was forced out as bribe allegations continue to swirl around this controversial decision.

Every other World Cup host nation had previously qualified for past tournaments. Not Qatar. Australia has its own professional soccer league and has never hosted the tournament. Yet it was passed over in favor of this tiny desert nation.

As World Cup host, Qatar automatically gets a birth in the tournament. In other words a country that is going to be slaughtered in every match will be taking the place of a more deserving nation.

Past World Cups have been held in large countries with a football infrastructure. Fans could move from city to city to see their team play. Qatar is the size of a postage stamp and every stadium that may be used is currently being constructed.

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The weather in this region is beyond oppressive. Instead of switching the location for the tournament, FIFA has decided to move the matches from the traditional summer months to winter. In other words, every country with a professional football league will be forced to interrupt its domestic season to accommodate Qatar.

Migrant workers are being treated like modern-day slaves

Perhaps the number one reason to stop this charade from proceeding any further is Qatar’s human rights record. Simply put it is deplorable.

The country continues to take advantage of low paid migrant workers who are building the stadiums. These laborers are exploited and receive low wages. A recent report in The Guardian described the situation in the country as “modern slavery.” It is estimated that over 1200 workers have died so far.

Then there are basic human rights. Qatar is on a list of ten countries where homosexuality is punishable by death. Women still don’t have the same rights as men.

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The 2022 World Cup is still five years away. There is plenty of time to change the location. The decision to take the tournament away from Qatar is long overdue.