“racism” or founded criticism?
The football world cup has never been talked about before it even started. Pressure is mounting on Qatar as the FIFA World Cup approaches, which it is preparing to host from November 18.
Despite the campaign of criticism, the small Gulf emirate nevertheless has support, especially in the Arab world.
| Also read: World Cup 2022: Algeria denounces attacks against Qatar
The awarding of the 2018 and 2022 editions, respectively to Russia and Qatar, was followed by strong criticism, with many not understanding the choice of a small emirate to host such a major event. This was in 2010.
| Also read: World Cup 2022: why Qatar is the subject of criticism
Some of the objections raised are well founded. For example, we have highlighted the very hot climate of the region. The Qatari authorities proposed building air-conditioned stadiums, before FIFA offered a solution at the cost of a concession that was unthinkable until then: organizing the tournament outside the summer, in first time since its creation in almost a century. a while ago.
The 2022 World Cup matches will take place in November-December. It’s a way to avoid extreme temperatures, but nothing more. Criticisms are still there, due to the inconsistency of the organization of a popular competition outside the holiday season. Because it will cause serious problems for all the fans.
Suspicions of corruption have been raised, especially after the scandal that rocked the former heads of FIFA and UEFA, the Swiss Sepp Blatter and the French Michel Platini.
To host the 2022 World Cup, Qatar has spent heavily on infrastructure construction and lobbying, activating its vast soft-power around the world.
Building modern stadiums is very expensive in money but also in human lives. British media The Guardian put the number of 6,500 Asian workers dead on Qatari stadium construction sites since 2010. It’s huge.
The campaign against the World Cup in Qatar is focused on this big drama that even the Qatari authorities do not deny. It is true that foreign companies, especially Western ones, are responsible for building the infrastructure, but the responsibility of the emirate is not excluded because of the law in doing so which has caused these abuses.
In addition to fatal work accidents, accusations of poor treatment, harsh working conditions and low pay are regularly made.
A controversial world
The topic has become a focal point for international human rights organizations, which are demanding compensation for Nepalese workers or other deaths at construction sites in the gas emirate.
Other violations of human and minority rights, whether real or supposed, are emphasized.
Hence the multiple calls for a boycott of the competition. Many European cities, in France and Germany in particular, have announced that they will not install the traditional giant screens in public places.
Prominent football personalities joined forces to call for a boycott.
The enormous amount spent by Qatar on lobbying and soft power has not escaped criticism here. In his campaign to get the organization of the World Cup, he offered himself, for example, the services of Zinedine Zidane at a price that got people talking at the time.
The emirate has also invested heavily in the French football league, which is not yet the best in Europe, buying first Paris Saint-Germain, then players for hundreds of millions of dollars. euro, like Neymar or Messi.
The contract offered to Kylian Mbappe, the most expensive in the history of football, has been heavily criticized. The Emirate also offers itself the exclusive broadcasting of the most prestigious competitions through its Bein Sport channels.
Despite everything, the pressure just builds to a crescendo. Qatar’s critics believe that what the emirate is accused of is too blatant for even the most expensive communication campaigns to overcome.
The Qatari authorities, on the contrary, see it as expressing a “racist” feeling among those who do not accept that the most prestigious sports competition in the world can be organized in an Arab country. Hence the unity expressed by Arab heads of state at their recent summit in Algiers.
However, Qatar has promised to organize the best edition of the World Cup in history. There is no reason to suggest that he will not succeed, but he has also organized the most controversial World Cup.