2 Nov. 2014
The Loss of Innocence Heat, bribery, and death are things that no person should willingly be involved with. From a young age we are taught by our parents and others to stay away from such things. So how is it that grown men and leaders can find it acceptable to condone actions pertaining to those very things and, at times, have a blatant disregard for the standards they are expected to uphold? The Fédération Internationale de Fútbol Association (FIFA) is the governing body of association Fútbol, more commonly known as soccer in the United States. It is viewed as an icon, meant to uphold the game of soccer, arguably the world’s most popular sport. Recently FIFA has been under a large amount of scrutiny due to rewarding Qatar rights to host the 2022 World Cup tournament. This is possibly the largest controversy in FIFA history, and has created havoc in many countries that thrive from the national soccer teams they support. By not revoking Qatar’s bid for the tournament criticism continues to grow against FIFAs legitimacy. Hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup Tournament should not have been awarded to Qatar.
Allegations of Qatar buying its bids from FIFA officials also ensues the controversy over the nation hosting the tournament. The past England bid chairman of FIFA, Lord Triesman testified that an astounding four committee membersclaiming claimed that they were offered money and knighthood in return for their votes (Fifa chief). The fact that these allegations even exist against so many committee members of FIFA blemishes its legitimacy and reputation. Although The FIFA president, Sepp Blatter ‘claimed he was “shocked”’ when the allegations were brought to his attention, but took no action to resolve the issue for over five months (Fifa chief). Bribery and scandal are not characteristics that describe a respectable organization. It is immoral that the lives of many are at risk for the gain of money. If the only way Qatar would be picked as host was due to bribes, then it is clear the tournament should not be held there at all.
The support given by Qatar to threatening militant groups leads many to believe this country is unsafe for the World Cup. The terrorist related background of Qatar is very alarming. In a September 2014 interview the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, claims that Qatar neither supports terrorists nor extremists. He also claims that they have joined efforts against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). A juxtaposition of these claims and the fact that the largest United States military base in the middle east is located in Qatar stirs up controversy because the Emir Sheikh also openly states that ‘"we [they] support all Palestinian people. We believe Hamas is a very important part of the Palestinian people"’ (Krever). The support of these groups endangers the lives and well-being of the countless people that will travel to Qatar in support for their national teams as well as the players competing. A tournament of this magnitude brings millions of dollars of revenue to the host country, and by allowing the tournament to be held in a country such as this tourist may in essence be funding a nation tied to extremist and terrorist groups.
In building the FIFA projects for the World Cup tournament a frightening amount of workers’ lives have been lost. The harsh climate conditions of the country along with the Kafala System, which the country enforces, is killing these workers (khan). The kafala system enables the sponsors of the emigrant workers to confiscate their passport and furthermore it acts as a catalyst for making forced labor a possibility (Khan). The International Trade Union Confederation says that an astounding “1,000 migrant workers have died in Qatar since construction began” and has roughly estimated that possibly 4,000 will die before the tournament’s opening game (Krever). The tournament should not be held in a country where