The past couple of days have been absolute chaos in the world of soccer. While many students
I know the next World Cup isn’t for another year, but given that this is one of my last columns as a senior, it’s important that you, the reader, to know about the future of ths beautiful game. In this case, you don’t even have to be a soccer fan to be aware of the Qatar World Cup. What I hope to bring to the table is your attention to the corruption of soccer organizations like FIFA and how they simply care about profit, and nothing else.
Nearly a month ago, during the time of the international break, players like Joshua Kimmich, the rest of the German national team and many on the Norwegian national team called out the horrendous efforts to create the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. This is because of reports from The Guardian listing the number of workers who have died while constructing stadiums, cities and the like in order for the World Cup to be held in the Middle Eastern country.
There are other parts that factor into these protests, including the low wages migrant workers received, to bribery.
Am I opposed to this? No, most certainly not. I don’t think any sane person would be opposed to this. I’m glad that players are standing up for what is virtually a human rights violation. What I’m upset about is that they waited a year before the World Cup rather than protesting it since its announcement almost 10 and a half years ago.
There were certainly reports of the Dec. 2010 announcement regarding corruption and bribery to have the World Cup hosted in Qatar, and I would most definitely believe them all. For those who don’t know, money to FIFA is like candy to a child: you give them a large amount and they will love you. FIFA’s hunger for greed is absolutely insane, but sadly their ignorance doesn’t stop there.
A bit over five years ago, news outlets like The Washington Post initially made reports about the number of migrant workers who died while constructing the World Cup’s infrastructure: that number was estimated to be over 1,000 casualties at the time. With the most recent report from The Guardian, the death rate massively increased to 6,500. You read that correctly. What makes me more furious about that number is that Qatar’s government has denied such death reports.
Factor in the greediness of FIFA and the number of lives lost while constructing the organization’s tournament, and you can start to see why many teams and players staged on-field protests about a month ago. If you can just sit back and have workers die to build cities, stadiums and many other infrastructures for your tournament while counting your money, you are complicit and contributing to what’s wrong with the many screwed up things in this world. The fact that there were countless reports prior to The Guardian’s Feb. 2021 article about controversies regarding Qatar hosting the World Cup combined with the long period it took for players to take a stance doesn’t sit right with me. These protests from players should’ve happened years ago.
Unfortunately for many of us diehard supporters of the game, taking down a corrupt organization like FIFA and creating reform is not an easy task and could probably never happen. But with what’s going on with the European Super League and with many fans, pundits and former players voicing their distaste of its creation, it gives me hope that we do have a voice to create change. It’s simply a matter of when you start and how great of an effort you put into doing it.
With that being said, yes, you should boycott the upcoming World Cup as much as you can. I know I will be as much as possible.