Rights to host the World Cup.
The much anticipated Qatar World Cup begins in exactly nine days. The Qatari government has had the time to plan for the tournament since being awarded the rights by FIFA in 2010. The criteria used to award Qatar the world cup has always been controversial. Insiders claim the bidding process was not fair. Others even claim the Qatar government bribed the football governing body FIFA then led by Sepp Blatter. The claims do not matter now with the World cup just over one week away.
The football history of Qatar.
Despite being the smallest country ever to host the world cup, Qatar has spent over $200 billion for the cause. This is by far the most expensive world cup ever. The last two world cup hosts Brazil and Russia spent less than $25 billion. The huge difference can explain the levels that the previous hosts had reached in terms of football compared to Qatar. Brazil for example has won 5 world cups since its inception in 1930. For context this is the first World Cup Qatar is participating in. They have however participated in the Asian cup and are the current champions.
According to Tifo Football the Qatari government have even built a whole city. Lusail City was once a fishing village and a deposit place for industrial waste from other sections of the country. But once Qatar won the hosting rights to the world cup they rebuild the city at a cost of $45 billion. The final game of the world cup will be hosted at the Lusail Iconic Stadium within the city which has a capacity of 80,000.
After the world cup, the stadium capacity will be lowered to 30,000 capacity and given to local clubs .What’s more fascinating is that the city will be home to half a million people at the end of the world cup.
The stadiums for the games prior to the final have also been recently built or fabricated in a way. The opening match for example will happen at the Al Bayt 60,000 seater stadium. Other include the Al Janoub stadium, The Khalifa International Stadium, The education city stadium among others.
The case of the workers.
To facilitate this rapid building spree the Qatar government opened its doors to over 600,000 immigrants to help build the stadiums. The immigrants are mostly of African and Asian origin. To accommodate this huge number of people for a country with a mere 2.5 million population has been hectic. They built apartments to accommodate the workers in The Doha Industrial area which the Qatar government reports as with adequate facilities.
Human rights organizations have come out to state the opposite. According to them the apartments are just to cheat the eye. There are several workers who live in inhumane conditions in Qatar. Furthermore, an article by The Guardian reports that since the buildings started close to 6500 people have died in the course of duty. The Qatari government however refute those claims. They claim only 35 workers have died in the process and only four of them were due to work related conditions.
The LGBTQ woes the World Cup
The controversies do not end there unfortunately. The Qatar government has made it clear on what they expect of the tourists at the world cup including dressing code and alcohol intake. The most controversial case though is that of the LGBTQ community. The Qatar government bases its customs and practices on the Muslim Culture which forbids homosexual activities. Anybody caught engaging in the same will be arrested and put on trial.
You can also read our article on Tottenham Hotspur.
As much as this is the most controversial world cup ever, it is expected to provide the ultimate world cup experience. It will be headlined as being possibly the last world cup for arguably the most talented duo of our time, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Who will win? We cover that next week.