FIFA must take the World Cup away from Qatar

By Malamine Sane
Sepp Blatter

Since FIFA announced on December 2 2010 that the World Cup 2022 would be hosted by Qatar, many controversial events have made the world wonder if choosing the Arab state was a good idea. From corruption accusations to labor abuse, a lot has been said about Qatar 2022.

Qatar is the first country from the Arabic world to be chosen to host the World Cup. The Arab state was chosen over South Korea, the United States, Australia and Japan. At the time, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that ”the Arabic world deserved the World Cup”. Since then, the FIFA boss has changed his mind.

Blatter admitted last month that Qatar won with the help of ”political influences”. He also said that awarding the World Cup to the Arab state may have been a mistake. And last but not least, the FIFA boss affirmed that the World Cup would be re-awarded if Qatar are found guilty of corruption.

French Magazine France Football has published a 15 -page report called ”Qatargate”, saying that Qatar bribed its way to the World Cup 2022. The magazine revealed a private dinner at Nicolas Sarkozy’s residence just nine days before the bid, where the then French president allegedly forced Michel Platini, UEFA’s president to change his votes due to political reasons.

The report goes on to say that some members of FIFA’s executive committee have received money in exchange of their votes. Issa Hayatou, President of the African Confederation, is one of the executives said to have taken bribes of $1.5 million to vote for Qatar.

Also, FIFA general secretary, Frenchman Jerome Valcke has confirmed that an e-mail in which he made the sensational allegation that Qatar ”bought” the 2022 World Cup is genuine. The e-mail was revealed by Jack Warner, a former FIFA executive who was suspended for corruption.

The second Qatar 2022 major controversy was recently brought to light by English newspaper The Guardian, who revealed that thousands of  construction workers were being treated like slaves, which lead to the death of hundreds of them. The International Trade Union Confederation has warned that 4,000 workers could die before the World Cup even starts.

Many of those migrant Nepalese workers have been forced to work under inhuman conditions without being paid. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has promised to meet the Emir of Qatar to discuss that issue. Meanwhile, more Nepalese workers are dying everyday.

Qatar 2022 is nearly a decade away, but has been the subject of more discussions than the World Cup 2018 in Russia. The investigation regarding the corruptions accusations is said to be ongoing , but it has been proven that the Arab state has violated human rights by making Nepalese workers work for free.

That alone should be enough to take the World Cup elsewhere.

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