Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup games in 2022, but the country has come under intense criticism and scrutiny for the following three reasons.
The Status of Migrant Workers
Qatar is essentially enslaving its migrant workers who are constructing the many stadiums and facilities for the game. Hundreds of migrant workers have already died in the construction process. According to the Nepalese government, 70 Nepal nationals have died since the beginning of the construction in 2012. One Nepalese worker, Bhupendra Malla Thakuri, reported that he was hospitalized for three months after being crushed by a truck. He was not paid for the time off work, and had to sue his employer just to get enough money for a plane ticket back home. UEFA president, Michel Platini, said at a FIFA committee meeting that he was “much more concerned” about the working conditions of the migrant workers.Perhaps most disturbing fact is the allegations that some of the construction companies are holding the passports of the migrant workers in order to prevent them from leaving, a form of modern-day slavery.
The “Gay Test”
Kuwait, Qatar’s neighbo,r plans to use a new screening process or “test” to detect gays and ban them from entering the country. Qatar, a member of the Gulf Cooperation Countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, plans to also take up this test to ban gays from entering any of the member countries. Kuwait’s public health minister plans on using a medical process to “identify homosexuals” and ban them from the Gulf countries. "Health centers conduct routine medical checks to assess the health of expatriates when they come into the GCC countries," said the Health Director Yousuf Mindkar. He continued on to say, "However, we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays, who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states."
Harold Mayne-Nicholls, former chairman of the Chilean FA and one of the official FIFA inspectors, reported that Qatar hosting the World Cup is a mistake as it puts the health of the athletes at risk. Qatar is known for its notorious heat waves that go above 110 degrees on average, and many fear this will have a negative effect on the athletes' performance. He warned that the World Cup, which is hosted in the summer, would be “impossible” for all the players to handle, even with all the various cooling devices that have been proposed. He said, "The fact that the competition is planned in June-July, the two hottest months of the year in this region, has to be considered as a potential health risk for players, officials, the FIFA family and spectators, and requires precautions to be taken."
What do you think? Putting the heat and health implications aside, the fact that the country will be using a “gay test” to ban gays from entering the region is mind-blowing. How many gay athletes, family members, and visitors will be flying into Doha that summer? And this test, with no specifications as to how their “gaydar” will work, will put many LGBT visitors at the mercy of health inspectors using some sort of “femininity” or “masculinity” test to spot out gays and send them back. How is that acceptable under any circumstance, let alone the biggest soccer tournament in the world?
If it hopes to maintain any level of respect, FIFA needs to act responsibly and hand the 2022 bid to another country which does not have such terrible practices.