Qatar Controversy


I am highly invested in the World Cup. As an avid Switzerland fan, I watch every game with utmost excitement. However, I believe that the hype surrounding the World Cup has drowned out some of the ethical issues around FIFA’s decision to hold the 2022 tournament in Qatar. 

Qatar’s eligibility has been called into question every step of the way; allegedly, Qatar was voted the host country with bribes. Additionally, Qatar lacks the infrastructure needed to host an international competition, and compensated by forced labor of migrant workers, many of whom have visas tied to their employment. Not only have there been hundreds of worker deaths during construction, but Qatar’s attempts to cover up those deaths are a testament to corruption behind the scenes. 

Another major problem is the radical ideas of the country, which extend as far as banning any representation of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Moving onto the soccer aspect of the World Cup, I am very conflicted on the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system. The new VAR system uses motion trackers in the ball, in addition to over 20 points on each player to make calls. I do believe that the rules should always be followed especially for penalty and offside calls. At the same time, automating too much of the game detracts from the magic. Offside was put in place so that players could not cherry pick. An offside should be called when it is very obvious that a player is trying to cherry pick, not when a strikers toe is past the second to last defender.

Overall, there’s a lot to get upset about during the 2022 World Cup. Everything from the choice of venue to the implementation of new tech, a variety of issues plague the series. At the same time, I will watch, and support my country’s team. However, it’s important to recognize the many faults of this year’s cup, and watch with discretion.