Why Are People Boycotting the 2022 World Cup? Fans Are Protesting at Matches

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Nov. 17 2022, Published 6:50 p.m. ET

The FIFA World Cup is held every four years. It's a soccer competition in which teams in the FIFA soccer organization compete to see which team can reign supreme until the next one. In the three years leading up to the event, soccer teams from across the world compete to qualify for the event. Just as importantly, a selection process is held in which the FIFA Council votes to see which country will host the World Cup.

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The process for voting for each World Cup venue typically takes place six or seven years before the event actually occurs. For instance, it has already been decided that the 2026 World Cup will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, according to BBC. This year, however, the World Cup is going to be held in Qatar, making it the first World Cup to take place in the Middle East. However, Qatar is the reason that people are planning on boycotting the 2022 World Cup.

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Why are people boycotting the 2022 World Cup?

The World Cup as a whole is no stranger to past controversies. The 2015 World Cup was marred by a corruption scandal in which members of FIFA were accused of fraud, money laundering, and bribery to the tune of $110 million. By the end of May 2015, 14 people were indicted by the FBI and IRS.

Interestingly enough, suspicions surrounding the selection of Qatar for the 2022 World Cup began as early as 2011. Reportedly, corruption was running rampant among FIFA senior officials over the process.

Investigations into the scandal lasted several years. In 2018, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter accused Qatar of using "black ops" tactics to cheat their way into winning the hosting rights for 2022.

Aside from the behind-the-scenes FIFA scandals, Qatar is notorious for its lack of human rights among citizens. The country continues to allow flogging and stoning as criminal sanctions, and same-sex relationships are punishable by death.

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As far as the 2022 World Cup is concerned, Qatar has faced immense backlash for its abusive treatment of foreign workers as "forced labour" for constructing its many soccer venues. The migrant workers also constructed many airports, metros, and hotels for the event. According to a report by The Guardian, many workers are apparently denied food and water, have had their identification papers taken away from them, and are paid very little if at all.

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People everywhere have been urging others to boycott the World Cup in Qatar. In fact, Euronews has reported that these movements are picking up steam. Fans are attending World Cup qualifier matches and holding up banners with the hashtag "#BoycottQatar2022". Cities in Spain and France are refusing to air games, and even soccer superstars are refusing to visit Qatar to attend the match.

With a movement this powerful, it'll be interesting to see what will become of this year's soccer event when the time comes. The 2022 World Cup will take place on Nov. 20.

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