Everything you need to know about the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

By arayerevanian 8th December 2022

This World Cup is constantly surrounded by controversy and misinformation. We want to steer away from this by giving you and your children the facts you need to know.

Fireworks set off on November 28, 2022 in Doha, Qatar as a pre-match show during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Fireworks set off on November 28, 2022 in Doha, Qatar as a pre-match show during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Qatar is chosen to host the World Cup 2022:

Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world despite being one of the smallest. Located on the west coast of the Persian Gulf, the country’s wealth is primarily because of its business in selling oil as a resource. Qatar is governed as a monarchy, with the Emir, the head of state, having total authority over all laws and regulations. Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani, the current emir, has been in charge since the 19th century.

Back in 2010, Qatar became the first Arab nation to be awarded as a FIFA World Cup host when it won the hosting rights. However, the FIFA executive committee and congress have been the target of numerous bribery allegations. It was decided who would host the 2022 World Cup by 22 FIFA executives. The USA received eight votes, while Qatar received fourteen.

The previous World Cup in 2018 cost Russia $11.6 billion (£9.8 billion), and Brazil paid $15 billion (£12.6 billion) to host it back in 2014. Qatar has spent an astounding $220 billion (£185 billion) to prepare for the tournament, by far the most ever. A lavish opening ceremony, which costs millions of dollars to arrange, usually kicks off the World Cup. Unusually, this was not broadcasted on BBC1, which instead opted to focus on how migrant workers were treated and the fact that being gay in Qatar is a crime that carries the death penalty.

Workers on site in Doha, Qatar in preparation for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Workers on site in Doha, Qatar in preparation for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Labour Rights in Qatar:

Qatar lacked the necessary infrastructure to host a major tournament in 2010. Eight brand-new high-tech stadiums had to be constructed in addition to new roads, hospitals, hotels, a metro line, and an airport. A workforce of 30,000 people was needed to complete the stadiums alone, which required the hiring of thousands of migrant workers. Horror stories from migrant workers soon began to surface; they claimed that their pay was being withheld, their passports had been seized, and they were being made to work in unbearable heat and unsafe working conditions.
In recent years, numerous workers have died and suffered severe injuries.

Since Qatar was awarded the right to host the World Cup in 2010, the Guardian newspaper estimates that more than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have died there. The International Labour Organization of the UN claims that Qatar has reported false data despite the Qatari government’s doubts about these figures. Despite requests from numerous teams, including England, for FIFA and Qatar to provide money for compensation to injured workers, the nation has fallen short. The Danish national team recently unveiled a new, all-black uniform that they will wear in commemoration of the deceased workers.

Former Danish prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who is now head of Governance and Development committee at the Danish Football Association, wears rainbow coloured sleeve on her outfit in support of LGBTQ+ rights ahead of their Group D encounter against Tunisia at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 22, 2022.

Former Danish prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who is now head of Governance and Development committee at the Danish Football Association, wears rainbow coloured sleeve on her outfit in support of LGBTQ+ rights ahead of their Group D encounter against Tunisia at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 22, 2022.

LGBT+ Rights in Qatar:

In Qatar, being gay is a crime that carries a sentence of up to seven years in prison, as well as possible physical punishment or even death. There has been a sizable backlash from supporters, athletes, and activist organisations. One of the first professional athletes to say he wouldn’t be attending due to safety concerns stemming from his own sexual orientation was Australian footballer Josh Cavallo.

In a more recent video, the Australian national football team demanded that Qatar legalise homosexuality. The LGBT community is supported by a number of teams, including England and Germany, who have pledged to wear rainbow armbands. However, FIFA has halted plans for many European football team captains to wear OneLove armbands during their World Cup games. In support of LGBT+ rights, the armbands were supposed to be worn by players like England and Tottenham Hotspur captain Harry Kane and Wales captain Gareth Bale who plays for Los Angeles FC. In Qatar, being gay is against the law. In contrast, seven European football associations claimed in a joint statement that FIFA had made it clear that players wearing the armbands may receive bookings or potentially be withdrawn from the game.

An individual protest was recently organised by British human rights activist Peter Tatchell in Doha, the country’s capital. He was detained and told to leave the nation. Although Qatar has repeatedly stated that all people will be welcomed and safe during the tournament, many still express concerns.

A woman posing for a photo at Katara Beach in Doha during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

A woman posing for a photo at Katara Beach in Doha during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Women’s Rights:

Women in Qatar are compelled to follow rules set forth by their husbands and fathers.
For instance, if they are under 25, they need permission to get married, work for the government, and travel abroad. They cannot enter areas that provide alcohol. Women are not shielded from this discrimination by any laws. Since there is no independent organisation advocating for women’s rights in Qatar, most women are battling these laws by themselves.
Even though some Qatari women are growing increasingly outspoken on social media, regulations that restrict free speech are continuously in opposition to them.

Extinction Rebellion is criticising Qatar for what it claims are serious human rights violations and "greenwashing" while building new football stadiums in advance of the World Cup.

Extinction Rebellion is criticising Qatar for what it claims are serious human rights violations and “greenwashing” while building new football stadiums in advance of the World Cup.

Is the World Cup really Carbon Neutral?

Before the event has even begun ahead of its 22nd edition of the tournament, environmentalists are disputing FIFA’s claims that the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar is the first carbon-neutral World Cup. This implies that the tournament’s overall impact on the planet should be zero. FIFA announced: “For the very first time, FIFA and the host country Qatar have pledged to deliver a full carbon-neutral World Cup.” Scientists disagree, claiming that the tournament may have a carbon footprint three times greater than FIFA estimates. The world’s football governing body estimates that the Qatar World Cup would generate 3.6 million tonnes of carbon waste, which will be offset (made up for) in many ways.

However, Mike Berners-Lee of Lancaster University claims he estimates it to be more than ten million tonnes, at least three times that amount. “Carbon neutral” is a dubious word, he believes. It is a false claim that the offset programme the World Cup has chosen will reduce carbon from the environment. To label this a “carbon-neutral World Cup” is really misleading. Professor Kevin Anderson, a climate expert at Manchester University, concurs and calls FIFA’s assertion “incredibly dangerous.”

Anderson expressed how the idea that “there’s always an easy way to solve it with a few pounds for an offset” is “demonstrating really bad behaviour”. He says: “FIFA just did the usual thing: let’s go to a fantastic venue and let’s just have a few offset credits to cover it. No innovation, no real thinking, no leadership. At every level FIFA has failed.”

According to FIFA, more than half of the carbon produced for the World Cup is caused by travel, including fans flying to Qatar. It claims that in addition to offsetting each ticket holder’s flight emissions, the competition is environmentally friendly in other ways. These include new sustainable stadiums and a huge solar power plant the size of 1,300 football fields.

“The tree and turf nursery features a total of 679,000 shrubs and 16,000 trees, most of which are replanted across the stadium sites and other areas of the country. The irrigation system uses recycled water. These new trees will reduce carbon emissions.”, commented a spokesperson.

Additionally, they claimed that since the stadiums in Qatar were close to one another, individuals might avoid travelling by using the new Doha Metro, which is supported by 750 brand-new electric buses. Morten Thorsby, a Norwegian international who plays for Union Berlin of the German Bundesliga, questioned FIFA’s claim and said in a letter “This tournament is an absolute disaster in terms of its environmental footprint”. ​​In preparation for the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July of next year, he is requesting FIFA to abandon its claim regarding the carbon neutrality of the World Cup 2022 and reevaluate its strategy for environmentally “clean” tournaments. The letter reads: “Climate change is the opponent we must tackle – and we’re already deep into extra time. Whatever shirt we wear or chant we sing, we’ve got everything to gain from taking action. But, instead of taking this golden chance, FIFA’s set itself up to miss its best shot at goal.”

On December 4, 2022, in Al Khor, Qatar, Jude Bellingham of England celebrates Jordan Henderson's goal during the England vs. Senegal FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 game at Al Bayt Stadium.

On December 4, 2022, in Al Khor, Qatar, Jude Bellingham of England celebrates Jordan Henderson’s goal during the England vs. Senegal FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 game at Al Bayt Stadium.

FIFA wants to focus on football:

In the lead-up to the competition, human rights have received more attention than the actual sport. After Qatar was awarded as the host for the tournament, many foreign workers lost their lives while constructing and renovating stadiums. Concerns have also been raised concerning restrictions imposed on international supporters. Public shows of affection are considered offensive in Qatar, and homosexuality is prohibited. A few athletes, coaches, and supporters have expressed concern. Qatar assures that all spectators and athletes are welcome. In a letter to all competing teams, FIFA, the global governing body of football, requests that they “focus on the football” rather than “hand out moral lessons.” This guidance has not been effective in most nations. In response, ten football associations, including the English FA and Welsh FA, mentioned that they will keep supporting and talking about human rights problems. Campaigning charity Amnesty International is going further by labelling this ‘The World Cup of Shame’.

A broad image of The Bolt New Lawn, the home field of pro-green-football club Forest Green Rovers, taken on September 3, 2022, in Nailsworth, United Kingdom.

A broad image of The Bolt New Lawn, the home field of pro-green-football club Forest Green Rovers, taken on September 3, 2022, in Nailsworth, United Kingdom.

“Go Green” Message to World Cup Fans:

During the World Cup, football fans are urged to adopt three eco-friendly practices to protect the Earth’s environment.

The three suggested behaviours are as follows:

1) Reducing your shower time to four minutes.
2) Having two veggie days per week.
3) Turning your thermostat (heating) down by one degree.

According to statistics, if all the UK’s WorldCup fans participated in this special challenge, they could reduce as much carbon pollution equivalent to eliminating nearly 50% of Leeds’ cars off the road, which is more than 900 million kilos of carbon dioxide! The appeal is made in advance of Green Football Weekend, the largest football-climate campaign in the world, which happens in February 2023.

During the FIFA World Cup 2018 & 2022 Host Countries Announcement at the Messe Conference Centre on December 2, 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announces Qatar as the successful hosts of 2022.

During the FIFA World Cup 2018 & 2022 Host Countries Announcement at the Messe Conference Centre on December 2, 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announces Qatar as the successful hosts of 2022.

DID YOU KNOW?

Due to Qatar’s stance on LGBT rights, an overwhelming majority of people in Britain believe that the World Cup should not be staged there. According to a survey, only 43% of Brits think the England and Wales teams should be allowed to compete in the tournament, and 62% think Qatar’s lack of homosexual rights should have been enough to prevent them from hosting.

Qatar will be the 80th nation to compete in the World Cup and will be the smallest nation to ever host a World Cup. There are estimates that five billion people will watch some of the competition.

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