FIFA President Sepp Blatter announces Qatar as the host nation for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Zurich on December 2, 2010. Reuters

The World Cup is arguably the most prestigious tournament that we have in all of world sports. So when it was announced that Qatar was awarded the prize of hosting the event in 2022; there were more than a few who raised their eyebrows and said, how is that possible?

For anyone that doesn’t know, FIFA is the governing body of international world soccer. In the last few years it has become more and more apparent that FIFA is also one of the most corrupt governing institutions that there is. I could go on for hours about what is wrong with FIFA, but I would not do it justice. Instead you should watch this video from HBO’s John Oliver as he brilliantly explains the evils of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association.

Four years ago FIFA’s president Sepp Blatter announced that Qatar had won the rights to host the World Cup in 2022. But in doing so the questions of corruption within FIFA had begun to grow even more. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that bribery played a huge role in the middle-eastern country receiving the rights to host the tournament. But that is a whole other story, one that can be viewed in deatil here and that I highly recommend reading.

Aside from the bribery allegations, there are a bevy of reasons as to why Qatar should not have the honor of putting on this tournament. For starters, it gets to be about 120 degrees Fahrenheit in Qatar during the summer months; which if you did not know is when the World Cup takes place. Sure closed roof stadiums would be the answer, but having a tournament and everything that it encapsulates in weather as hot as that is flat out questionable.

The weather is just one aspect of it though. Qatar also prohibits homosexuality, which in the 21st century would not fly with almost every country that would participate in the World Cup. It also does not allow the sale of alcohol, which isn’t the worst thing, but let’s be real; what’s a soccer tournament without a few libations? To continue on down our list, Qatar has also stated that they do not recognize Israel as a free state and therefore would not allow the Israeli National Team to partake in the tournament if they made it through qualifying.

All of these things are mind-boggling and are on the point of borderline insanity. But that is nothing close to as bad as what I am about to tell you.

When preparing for a World Cup there is a ton of preparation that comes before it. Qatar has already started to build the infrastructure and stadiums eight years before a ball will even be kicked. It is not the fact those stadiums are already being built though, it is how they are being built.

Qatar has literally, in the 21st century become a slave state. In September of 2013 one of England’s newspaper’s The Guardian wrote after an investigation into working conditions that they, “found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of laborers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organisation, during a building binge paving the way for 2022."

To put it into simpler terms, there is about one migrant worker dying every single day in Qatar; and if that continues about 4,000 workers will die before the tournament even begins. The fact that this has been made public and that Qatar still has the rights for the World Cup is absolutely unfathomable. We are living in times where things like this should not be happening anywhere around the world; let alone in preparation for one of the sporting events we all as sports fans look forward to so much.

Qatar needs to be stripped of this tournament now. The longer FIFA waits to act on this, the harder it will be to take it from them. And if FIFA decides to not take any kind of action on the country of Qatar for allowing these atrocities to happen, we as fans should boycott the World Cup, plain and simple (and this is coming from one of the biggest soccer fans around). It may be an extreme measure to say the least, but we cannot allow corruption to get in the way of the game we love so much.

Moving forward on a better note though, let’s say FIFA does decide to make the right decision and removes Qatar from hosting the tournament. What should happen next? To me there is only one real option, and that is to give the Cup to the US.

Soccer has grown tremendously in this country throughout the last couple of years, the culmination of that was shown by how much of an impact our team made at this year’s tournament. Can you even imagine how big it will be in eight years time? The United States is one of the few countries around the world that can build the infrastructure, provide the stadiums and hopefully create enough public transportation to house this tournament on such short notice.

In the end though, it is not about the US getting to host the World Cup again. Frankly it shouldn’t really matter who hosts it, as long as it is not Qatar. They got the tournament because they have enough money to have unfairly bought it. Now that they have done so they are using migrant workers to build their stadiums, without simultaneously caring for their health or safety. Something needs to be done soon, my hopes are that FIFA just comes to that realization sooner rather than later.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.