FIFA President Sepp Blatter has just resigned, seven of his Executives were arrested for corruption last week, FIFA is in turmoil and the 2020 Qatar World Cup seems to breach basic human rights. So who is at the centre of this scandal? Read more here . . .
UPDATE: This post was originally directed towards the poor working and living conditions of workers building stadiums for the 2020 Qatar World Cup and the corruption currently surrounding FIFA. As of 2PM on the day of publication, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has announced he will be stepping down as leader of the organisation as soon as a replacement is elected.
Australian investigative ABC news program Foreign Correspondent released an interesting insight into the realities of the Qatari World Cup preparations on Monday, revealing exactly what is happening in one of the richest nations in the world for the biggest sporting event in the world.
The program was aired in the midst of an explosive corruption scandal that has enveloped world football governing body, FIFA, sparked by the arrest of seven FIFA executives last week for money laundering and racketeering.
Since its 2010 election as World Cup Cost, Qatar has been embroiled in allegations of bribery and scandals, supported by the vast amount of controversial aspects in its $400 Billion Cup bid.
Qatari cities such as Doha are essentially being totally remodelled, or in some cases, completely built in preparation for the games, which raised the question in 2010 – How can you bid for a cup without evidence of what you can provide?
Additionally, the Qatari bid suggested a move for the Cup to Winter months where the usually exceedingly hot weather conditions would be less of an issue and air-conditioned stadiums could have more of an effect. In a nation where temperatures are in excess of 50°C and the proposed timing of the Cup falls directly in the middle of European domestic leagues, the 2010 Qatari Cup Bid was always contentious.
With this, Foreign Correspondent managed to gain access to the working conditions set for employees attempting to make the 2022 World Cup a reality. And they weren’t great.
Most workers live in slum-worthy houses of 300 or more people, in rooms packed with upwards of 15 people. Workers are paid $50 per week and abide by the regulations of the Qatari ‘Kafala’ system whereby workers relinquish their passports to their employers, work exceedingly long hours, live in appalling sanitary conditions and aren’t allowed to leave until given permission.
In the 21st Century, we call this slavery.
And so, with so much evidence pointing towards the illegitimacy and infeasibility of the 2022 Qatari World Cup, the question remains – How can FIFA let this happen?
According to Foreign Correspondent, the answer lies in the seven (and surely more to come) executives arrested last week. FIFA as an overarching governing body has been surrounded by corruption controversies for years now, with many claiming those at the helm of the organisation are simply acting for their own financial gain.
With a number as high as 4000 workers predicted to lose their lives in constructing stadiums for the Cup, it’s hard to believe anything other than corruption has led to such an appalling situation.
Which leads to former English football star Gary Neville and his claims as to how to stop the destructive forces of FIFA and their corrupt board.
According to Neville, the only way to truly let FIFA know that the current system of World Cup elections, corruption, poor working conditions and ignorance is unacceptable, is to take away the stars.
This week Neville came out in the media and stated his belief that without playing stars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the Cup simply wouldn’t exist as sponsors such as Coca-Cola would be forced to remove themselves for financial purposes and the message would be conveyed that people wouldn’t be watching in 2022.
As former footballer Abdes Ouaddou said in Foreign Correspondent‘s program, footballers around the world simply would not play in stadiums built with blood, the deaths of thousands of migrant labourers and dirty money.
And thus, while FIFA is embroiled in perhaps the biggest scandal of hits history, the question is begged – will the 2022 Cup actually be held in Qatar, and what happens now that Sepp Blatter is no longer at the helm of the continuously rotating wheel of corruption?