Qatar’s Unethical Labor Practices with World Cup [OPINION]


Evan Deickman

2010, A time of Justin Bieber, the iPhone 4, and lower gas prices.

2010, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa; Shakira waka waka-ing her way all over the world. 

2010, soon to be foreshadowing the ways FIFA pushes its ideologies.

2010, a time marking the upcoming deaths of 6,500 migrant workers in Qatar. 

2010, Qatar’s World Cup bid. 

December 2nd, 2010, FIFA officially announced the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts; being Russia and Qatar. 

This comes amid a scandal going on within the FIFA world. One of money laundering, bribery, lies, and death. 

The World Cup is just a small deal for a lot of people. Being one of the largest sporting events in the world; the games this year expect to bring over 227.27 million people a day watching. FIFA itself plans on giving 42 million dollars to the winning team. 

It’s a beautiful event that every so often brings every group of people together to watch people play football. Back in 2010, this was going to be the beginning of something great going forwards for the World Cup. 

Death was out of the question for Qatar. The country, only having a population of 2 million people, was going to be the smallest host in World Cup history. And instead of running away, 220 billion dollars, blueprints for a city, transportation, and eight brand new stadiums for this massive event began to take shape.

To ensure this would be completed in time, Qatar went to its primary work source.

Qatar uses the Kafala system; a labor system used to keep migrant workers powerless in their system. Outsourced from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Philippines, these workers are forced to unimaginable hours in the scorching Qatar heat. 

More than 6,500 of these migrant workers died due to human rights violations being forced on them each day. 

Qatar had ten years. Ten years to move away from such a corrupt system of labor. 

The World Cup this year has been a political messaging device for sports going forwards. From teams showing eco-friendliness, open remorse for the lives lost, a support for homosexuality in the world, and many more issues. 

Qatar is a very openly homophobic country. As being homosexual can even be punished in death, many sporting teams prior to the World Cup beginning wanted to wear a “OneLove” armband. One actively and silently protesting the homophobia within Qatar’s laws.

“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” CNBC quoted from a national statement of the countries involved. 

Germany’s National Team posed for a photo, their hands over their mouths in protest to the silence FIFA is forcing upon them. 

Iranian National Team stood in silence during their national anthem; a stand with the widespread protests going on in Iran. 

This will always be Qatar’s World Cup.  One that will come with many titles:

First Middle-Eastern Host.

First to ban alcohol at a World Cup.

First in spending 200+ billion for the construction.

First to silence homosexuality on the field.

First to kill 6,500 innocent workers.