FIFA has decided that the 2022 World Cup will be held in the tiny nation of Qatar and in an unprecedented move has decided to move the tournament from its traditional June/July schedule to November/December. This move has been forced because of Qatar’s oppressive summer heat, which can be as high as 110°F. Rather than addressing this problem in the infancy of the country’s bid, FIFA’s system of bid corruption took hold and awarded a country smaller in size and population than Connecticut the biggest sporting event in the world. With Sepp Blatter’s capitulation to the Emir of Qatar complete, critics are beginning to see the multitude of flaws in the plan.
While FIFA officials are suggesting that the switch will only be a minor inconvenience, domestic league around the world are up in arms because of the serious effects it will have on their traditional schedules. One benefit of moving the tournament to a later start date is that these White Elephant facilities will likely be completed with time to spare. The downside of it is that Qatar will complete these facilities using a labor force of foreign laborers that are exploited with meager living conditions, dangerous work environments, and wages that fall below any reasonable standard. Last year, one Nepalese migrant worker died every two days on construction projects in the country, and that figure doesn’t include workers from other foreign countries.
Work conditions within the country show no signs of improving, despite a vow from the Qatari government to improve treatment of workers in the “kafala.” The “kafala” system, which would be known simply as slavery in past decades, tenures foreign workers to their employers for the duration of their contract, regardless of humanitarian conditions. If this conflict with Western culture isn’t enough, the tournament will also feature restrictions of alcohol consumption, speech, and attire. Having the tournament in a nation of just over 2.1 million will almost certainly suck in comparison to recent edition in Brazil. Here are ten reasons, FIFA’s corruption will result in a diminished global product in 2022.
10 Tacit Acceptance of FIFA Corruption
9 Confederations Cup is Still a Mess
8 Fan Travel Will be Affected
7 Television Rights Lose Value
6 Forces Domestic League Breaks
5 Clubs Will Lose Revenue
4 Qatar Will Still be Hot
3 Watch Parties in the Northern Hemisphere Will Suck
2 Elite Clubs Suffer
1 Players Lose Rest Days
Early in the 2014-15 season, many players that participated in the World Cup in Brazil showed the detrimental effects of spending a summer playing top tier football. Typically a rest period is necessary following major tournaments and this would not be possible with a 2022 November World Cup. Players would be expected to return to their club teams and carry on play without question. These athletes are already facing extraordinary demands in the traditional tournament structure, but FIFA has promised to reduce the tournament length to minimize effects on clubs. This means players will receive fewer rest days during the tournament, which could lead to higher injury risks.
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