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Why You Need to Boycott the 2022 World Cup

By February 23, 2016 0

Not a sports person? It does not matter. If you are a human, you need to read this.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup of soccer is scheduled to be played in Qatar. This in itself is shocking.

However, it becomes much less shocking when you consider the rampant corruption which has been central to FIFA’s modus operandi for countless years. In the world of global soccer, it has not been functional facilities, reasonable tourist destinations, or persuasive bids that have determined which nation will be rewarded with a World Cup.

In the world of disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, money walks. Oh, you thought soccer or futbol was the name of the game? So naive. Bribery is the name of the game.

Bribery also happens to be the sole reason Qatar is currently scheduled as the home of the 2022 World Cup. And it is also likely the reason Russia will be hosting the 2018 version of the tournament. Because you know this guy is not above dishing out some cash under the table:

As much as we are against bribery, the issues with Qatar hosting a World Cup run much, much deeper, and they cross the line into issues concerning human rights violations.

We are talking indentured slaves. Worker living conditions unfit for cockroaches. Death tolls in the thousands for those tasked with constructing the stadiums in sizzling heat. Prehistoric type shit.

On the surface, Qatar appears to be a modern, civilized country with people who embrace civilized ideals. They have gigantic malls filled with designer brand stores. It has been ranked by Forbes as the wealthiest nation in the world on a per-capita basis.

Two words: Thanks, oil!

Unfortunately, it has become readily apparent to me that having the good fortune to settle your nation on a giant bed of oil does not equate to the principles of justice, fairness, and civilized treatment of others that most civilized nations embrace over time.

In fact, instant wealth can be quite the curse in terms of acting like decent people.

You see, Qataris don’t do their own work for the most part. Why would they? They have more money as a nation than they can spend.

Meanwhile, their less fortunate neighbors such as Bangladesh and Nepal did not have such oil-based fortune. Some families there can live on as little as the equivalent of a dollar for an entire year. It explains why so many men are lining up to risk their lives as sherpas carrying goods up Everest.

When the opportunity to construct soccer stadiums in Qatar meant mass employment and a steady wage, impoverished workers from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and other similarly poor regions flooded in by the busload. What they didn’t know? They would not be allowed to leave, at least not alive.

Because Qatari law dictates that a foreign worker is essentially under the command of their employer, these stadium builders are essentially indentured servants, at the mercy of the nation that employs them and unable to leave until the jobs are finished.

For this reason, most workers who leave Qatar these days travel in a casket.

The death toll as of latest count was 1,200 workers. By the start of the games in 2022, it is estimated that 4,000 stadium builders will have died from work related injuries or heat-related symptoms.

As if this massive death toll were not enough, the workers are treated as nothing more than chattel while they are alive.

In a country as wealthy as Qatar, creating livable facilities would be no burden on anybody, financial or otherwise. Hell, creating luxurious accommodations for the workers would not even be out of the question.

Instead, the workers don’t have running water, are forced to share a kitchen with hundreds of others, and sleep on mite-infested mattresses. You really have to see it to understand the inhumanity of it.

As you can see, there isn’t a cleaning crew to be found. And who is realistically going to make sure the stove stays grime-free when there are a hundred guys after you sure to muck it up?

The situation is dire, with workers being bussed in and out of the facilities at all hours of the night and day, with little to no access to health care, proper sleep, or even showers.

But according to Qatari officials, who were asked by Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’s David Scott how the workers were living, the conditions are “very comfortable”. Right, comfortable for the hoards of insects that have made it their home, too.

On top of all of these atrocities, the logistics of playing soccer in Qatar make no sense. Which helps to highlight just how rampant and central bribery is to the selection processes for the World Cup.

For one, temperatures in the warm seasons routinely reach 110+ degrees, contributing greatly to the death of so many workers. Sure, they propose to play the tournament when the weather cools down a bit. But it only gets so cool in Qatar, and soccer is an exhausting sport even on a temperate day.

Don’t worry, Qatar officials thought of a solution a long time ago. Artificial fan clouds with built in fans, of course! No, seriously.

This was part of their pitch to the FIFA committee, which was said to have been blown away by the promises of the presentation. Although if a country can’t even ensure that its workers stay alive, how in the hell are they going to figure out this artificial cloud thing which no other country has yet to pursue, much less create?

They will do what they always do over at FIFA: throw some more money at it.

After all, these elaborate, futuristic stadiums aren’t going to be built for free. It’s going to take lots and lots of money. Mostly wired to Sepp Blatter’s personal bank account, but still lots of money.

Take this stadium for example:

Or this one:

Snazzy, right?

Well, as the workers who are tasked with making these fantasies become reality have found out by the thousand, snazzy comes at a cost. And the cost is thousands of human lives. For soccer.

I am not usually one to champion human rights cases, but as a sports fan I am shocked more people are not talking about this atrocity which has gone on, and apparently will continue to go on, until somebody steps in and stops the madness that is a World Cup in Qatar.

The country that buys its athletes from other nations has bought itself a World Cup. And when 2022 comes around and people start finally paying attention to one of the greatest human rights violations in sporting history, don’t say I didn’t tell you it was going on.

Now you know.