The world is waiting eagerly for the first whistle of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to be blown in no time and indulge in the sporting atmosphere that only such a quadrennial event could shower fans with. Tickets have already been sold out long ago and itineraries have been prepared by spectators to ensure that they will be spoilt with so much fun throughout their time at the host country while fans that do not have the same luck to travel to Qatar are more than ready to catch games, regardless of the time zone differences between the Middle-East State and their country.
On the other hand, the FIFA World Cup is not always about the adrenaline rush. In recent editions, many issues, scandals and controversies have been surrounding the sporting phenomenon that happens once every four years, with the Qatar edition being one of the most debated tournaments in the history of the FIFA World Cup. Numbers and statistics are often used to provide an insight into the nitty gritty about a World Cup, and here are some of the numbers and data that the host nation would not want you to know.
Ah yes. The human rights issues in Qatar have reached a peak point where not only the locals are criticising the host nation; Players, celebrities and fans have used various platforms to voice their concerns and opinions over the host nation’s treatment towards domestic and migrant labourers for the World Cup, where zero human rights clauses or terms were set up to protect their wellbeing and welfare.
Gender inequality is another most-talked topic for FIFA’s controversial awarding to Qatar as the 2022 FIFA World Cup host nation. The country has laws that stated that men and women who have sexual relations outside marriage can face up to 7 years in prison. Such a law affected women heavily as they are often dismissed as lying and men can cheat their way out by saying things are done consensually.
Qatar’s gender views towards the topic of LGBTQ+ have also raised debates all across the world in addition to their human rights records and ill-treatments towards people from different genders. 11 cases regarding to detention for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were reported during the span from 2019 to 2022. These detainees were reportedly forced to participate in conversion therapy sessions at facilities set up by the Qatari government.
If you think that the $11bn spent by Russia to host its World Cup in 2018 is a whopping sum, then Qatar’s expenditure for their own edition will defy your imagination as they have used an approximately $200bn during the preparation for the World Cup; That is an eighteen fold difference between the 2018 and the current edition!
The exact number of migrant worker deaths has been a myth as no official audits have been made to investigate the deaths related to the World Cup projects. In addition to this mysterious figure, compensations were also not given to the family of the dead as the local authorities do not consider these incidents work-related.
With the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar only six days away, fans will be going through a mix of emotions after knowing these facts and figures.
(Photo Credits: Sports Illustrated)