FIFA World Cup 2022: One of the most controversial world cups in football history

 | Updated: Jan 15, 2020, 03:13 PM IST

Qatar's bid to the 2022 FIFA World Cup has invited a lot of controversies to the Arab country. 

Let's take a look at how corruption, cultural and political issues have made it the most controversial World Cup.

2022 FIFA World Cup

The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar has raised a number of concerns and controversies regarding both Qatar's suitability as a host country and the fairness of the FIFA bidding process. Criticism from a number of media outlet, and human rights groups highlighted problems in Qatar. 

There have been numerous allegations of bribery between the Qatar bid committee and FIFA members and executives and now top teams refraining from training in Qatar as the Arab country is surrounded by high tensions.


Migrant workers, slavery allegations and deaths

One of the most touched-on issues of the Qatar World Cup was the treatment of workers hired to build the infrastructure.

Human Rights Watch and the International Trade Union Confederation allege that the Kafala system leaves migrant workers vulnerable to systematic abuse.

They have suffered over 900 deaths on construction sites in Qatar’s 2022 World Cup city.

Workers may not change jobs or even leave the country without their sponsor's permission. In November 2013, Amnesty International reported "serious exploitation", including workers having to sign false statements that they had received their wages in order to regain their passports.


LGBT fans

Homosexuality is criminalized in Qatar. The punishment could be as severe as the death penalty. 

World Cup 2022 host Qatar has given the clearest indication yet that LGBT fans will be welcome, engaging with gay supporters as it hosts the Club World Cup despite criminalising homosexuality.

Organisers of the 2022 World Cup travelled to Britain in recent months to meet Liverpool fan clubs including the side's gay supporters' group, individuals briefed on the meeting have said.


Mohammed bin Hammam and Jake Warner

In 2011, the then vice-President of FIFA Jack Warner's email was publicised due to the possibility that Qatar 'bought' the 2022 World Cup through bribery by Mohammed bin Hammam. Hammam was the president of the Asian Football Confederation at the time.

In March 2014, it was alleged that a firm linked to Qatar's successful campaign paid committee member Jack Warner and his family almost $2 million. The US-based newspaper reported that it understands that the FBI is investigating Warner and his alleged links to the Qatari bid.

On 1 June 2014,  news reports claimed to have obtained documents including e-mails, letters and bank transfers which allegedly proved that Bin Hammam had paid more than $5 million to Football officials to support the Qatar bid. Bin Hamman and all those accused of accepting bribes denied the charges.



Manchester United's players warm up during a training session in Singapore on July 19, 2019,

After US drone strikes in Iraq which killed Iran General Qasem Soleimani, huge tensions have arisen in the Arab world. Iran's retaliation has just added more fuel to the raging fire. 

Looking at the situation US national team and Manchester United dropped their plans to set a training camp in Qatar.

Qatar now worries if the tension does not de-escalate it would have a bad impact on the upcoming World cup. They fear countries backing out from playing the matches due to security concerns.