I’ve never really been into soccer or anything and never really cared about the world cup – but I wanted to write a bit of a post on the current World Cup that is going to be hosted in Qatar, the first country in the middle east to host the world cup… a country with strict “Sharia” laws and many human rights violations… a country that wasn’t and still isn’t suited to host a sports event like this and that bribed its way into the election process to basically use the world cup to improve its own image.
This post is political.
Soccer isn’t political but this post isn’t about soccer… it’s about Qatar and how FIFA helps Qatar distract from modern-day slavery and the oppression of LGBTQIA+ members and women. It’s about Corruption, Dictators, Slavery in 2022, Brutality and Whips being used to punish people, Sexism, Sexual Assault, Climate Change, and a white dude telling everyone how they can’t judge Qatar for all of this stuff.
That’s your content warning. This post is about 4300 words long and takes (according to WordPress) 15 minutes to read.
If you don’t have the time for that, split the post or do your own research. I even included a TLDR.
There are articles listed to give you more insights on the topic. This post took me ages to write but it’s finally out and I hope it spreads awareness. There is more to the topic than just this.
At last, if you don’t have the spoons for a topic this large… don’t read this post. Again, huge content warnings. Horrible stuff.
- Qatar, a dictatorship
- Qatar doesn’t give a fuck about human rights
- LGBT rights in Qatar
- Women’s rights
- All Hope Lost in the Climate Crisis
- Gianni Infantino is all for Slavery
Since this is an important matter and since this is a longer post, here’s a TLDR version:
The world cup has already started by the time this post is out and frankly, it’s horrible that it still gets defended by the FIFA with bullshit arguments. Hence, while you can’t stop the world cup anymore, I want everyone that watches the world cup to feel incredibly bad while doing so. It doesn’t matter if six or six thousand people died building those stadiums. It doesn’t matter how much Qatar’s leadership paid for it. It shouldn’t matter at least. According to FIFA, though, we can’t judge them for whatever reason.
This is an event hosted through the power of blood money and it’s an event hosted thanks to bribery, deeply rooted corruption, and atrocities committed by humans that say things like “we’re welcoming everybody as long they respect our culture” and who try to improve their image by hosting this event so that the world forgets about all the lives lost in the process and about the way LGBTQIA+ people and women are treated here.
The country is incredibly controversial not due to its religion (as the leader of Qatar wants you to think) but rather due to its perverse interpretation of it and the way it tries to solve every “problem” with money. These “problems” include homosexuality. Women don’t have rights. A lot of people get imprisoned for criticizing the leadership or voicing concerns.
On top of that, Qatar exploits poor migrant workers from other countries, takes away their passports, treats them horrible, and doesn’t even pay them. Modern-Day Slavery, Ladies and Gentlemen!
This is the world we live in where a woman can get raped and receive whip lashes as punishment for extra-marital sex. More on that later.
This is the world we live in where slavery can’t be criticized because Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, thinks that we as Europeans are being hypocrites. According to him, what I’m calling “slavery” is actually “an opportunity”. Anyone that disagrees clearly hates Islam and Arabia, according to him. he also understands how gay people and disabled people feel because he was bullied in school for being red-haired. Let that sink in. More on that later.
The TLDR amounts to “Fuck Qatar, Fuck FIFA, Fuck the World Cup, Fuck Gianni Infantino and Fuck Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani”, basically.
Qatar, a dictatorship
While technically being a “parliamentary authoritarian monarchy”, Qatar shows more signs of a dictatorship than anything else. The leader or Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, holds all executive and legislative authority in the country while also controlling the judiciary. He appoints ministers and the “parliament”.
There is a “Consultative Assembly” that is partially elected that can block legislation and has a limited ability to dismiss ministers… but since no parties can be formed and since people can go to jail for criticizing the government aka the Emir of Qatar,… yeah. You just can’t do anything really.
The Consultative Assembly aka “Shura Council” is the legislative body of the State of Qatar with 45 members who can only question the prime minister (appointed by the Emir of Qatar) if two-thirds of the members agree to do so. Guess what? 30 members are elected and 15 are appointed by the Emir.
On top of that, a lot of the elections that were supposed to happen in the past… just… didn’t happen… they got postponed a lot of the times due to some reasons that I couldn’t find anything (legitimate) about. But when elections are post-poned like this, you’d probably think they’d happen a few months later, right? Well,… no. Not in Qatar at least.
Frankly, the 2006 elections didn’t happen until 2010. In 2011, elections were announced for 2013 but those elections were postponed when the then-Emir (the current Emir’s father) abdicated and they didn’t happen until 2016.
Furthermore, according to Human Rights Watch, thousands of Qataris were excluded from voting in 2021 (the last time elections took place). Despite 29 women running, none of them were elected. Voter turnout was 63.5% – only natural when political parties are forbidden or when people get imprisoned for criticizing the Emir of Qatar.
Freedom of speech is extremely limited with much of the internet being restricted and a lot of the news being censored and controlled. Qatari citizens are not allowed to protest politically and/or form political parties. Every person that can be elected is elected individually. Any criticism against the Emir of Qatar can be punished with a fine, jail time, and even whippings. Yes, that’s people getting whipped for crimes they committed, something deeply concerning that shouldn’t exist in 2022.
Here’s an article about a Qatari poet who recited a poem allegedly insulting the Emir of Qatar – which got him into jail.
Qatar doesn’t give a fuck about human rights
When it comes to the Qatar World Cup, the most controversial issue is probably the treatment of workers hired to build the infrastructure necessary to host such an event. Qatar isn’t big. It’s a peninsula bordering Saudi Arabia that could fit multiple times into Bavaria, Germany, with plenty of room to spare. It also doesn’t really care about soccer, at least nobody there seems to have had any interest in it until now, even when it was elected as host for 2022 back in 2010…
Therefore, a lot of roads, stadiums, hotels, and other parts required to make the World Cup happen had to be build… which is why impoverished migrant workers were being heavily exploited after having been promised the land of their dreams.
Slavery in Qatar
Human Rights Watch and the ITUC were very vocal about this long before Qatar was announced as the 2022 host for the World Cup… but nobody appears to care. It’s NGOs like them that helped spread awareness on the matter. Here’s a 2013 CNN article on the Slavery Accusations that Qatar faced back then.
Meanwhile, FIFA claims that working conditions have really improved thanks to the World Cup which is just not true at all… and they sort of pat their own backs for it when they didn’t really do anything to fact-check this. They just took the bribery money and decided to ignore these issues for years only to then lie to the world in hopes anyone believes it.
The minimum wage that was introduced is about a dollar per hour – in one of the richest countries of the world per capita. Employers were also supposed to provide food and housing but there were many issues with these. Many migrant workers that were brought to Qatar to work in construction ended up living on bread and water for days without getting paid for months.
The Kafala system is a system introduced to Qatar and other countries where migrant workers are introduced to the country and can only leave the country or switch jobs with the permission of their employer. The abolishment of this lasted for only three months. After that, it was back to normal.
A system where you’re brought in from another country only to work at practically no pay for months with the constant risk of dying either through accidents or through safety hazards and poor living conditions with no option to switch jobs or leave the country (because your passport is taken away from you) is… in essence… slavery. In 2022.
Here’s an article by the Guardian about migrant workers that died in Qatar since the World Cup has been awarded. When in one instance flood water flowed into the barracks of some migrant workers an exposed electric wire ended up electrocuting them. So much for the kafala system, right?
Also, here’s a documentary from three years ago by Benjamin Best for the German broadcaster WDR about the poor slave-like working and living conditions for migrant workers in Qatar. It’s a tough watch but I’d still recommend it if you’ve got the spoons.
LGBT rights in Qatar
Members of the LGBTQIA+ community face legal challenges and charges in Qatar that are not a thing for non-LGBTQIA+ residents. It’s illegal to be involved in male homosexual acts; you can get fined for those and/or get locked up in jail for up to three years. While there are no known cases where the death penalty was issued judicially for homosexuality, extra-judicial murders are unverified and unaccounted for. Some stuff on that.
As mentioned previously, political protests and campaigns are illegal in Qatar. Campaigns for LGBTQIA+ rights are also forbidden in Qatar.
Qatar’s Laws explicitly state that “sodomy between men” stipulates imprisonment between one and three years. Originally, men found to be homosexual were imprisoned for longer – although that most likely varies depending on whether you were “found” to be gay or whether you actually had gay sex which was then found out.
There is a local death penalty for same-gender sex that only applies to homosexual Muslims, mostly because extra-marital sex regardless of gender is punished by death and because same-gender couples cannot get married. Again, there is no “evidence” of this having been enacted – but (and this is speculation) I wouldn’t be surprised if the Emir of Qatar just paid off lots of people to not report about this stuff. After all, he paid off people to be able to host the World Cup in Qatar.
If you happen to go to Qatar though, FIFA (back in 2010) had a simple fix for you: If you’re gay, just don’t have sex. It’s illegal.
Qatar “welcomes” everyone
So, while there are reports on systemic police brutality against LGBTQIA+ people in Qatar based on eyewitness reports from 2019 to 2022, Qatar still states that the world cup enables them to put their differences aside and to welcome everyone. Everyone is welcome, “as long as they respect [their] culture!”
This culture consists of oppression and persecution of LGBTQIA+ individuals and couples, whipping people found to be in a homosexual relationship, and imprisoning people that engage in having sex with a same-sex partner. Many openly-gay soccer players stated that they’re scared to come to Qatar but Qatar reassures them that they’re safe.
Qatar also at one point said that same-sex couples were allowed to hold hands and kiss in public – but again, there are reports of hotels not even allowing same-sex couples to get a room despite what the government says. On top of that, there were some discussions about confiscating Pride Flags and other objects that have to do with LGBTQIA+ rights… but FIFA contradicts those statements and decisions.
Honestly, there is so much going on with LGBTQIA+ protests and signposting and whatnot here… I’m sure you can find plenty of cases in recent news where players of different countries were not even allowed to wear “human rights for everyone” on their jerseys… during training. It’s just that bad.
Women in Qatar are also being oppressed and heavily restricted in their freedom. They’re treated not as humans but instead must obtain permission from their male guardians to marry, study abroad on government scholarships, work in many government jobs, travel abroad at all, receive certain forms of reproductive health care and hygiene products (the pill, tampons, etc.), and act as the primary guardian of children even if they’re divorced.
One could argue that because of Qatar’s Islamic values and morals, women are being oppressed over there… but frankly, I still find it extreme even for “Islamic” circumstances – being a Muslim myself. I mean, there are some extreme cases obviously in a lot of countries in Africa and the Middle East where women can’t even talk to other men without their partner’s permission. It’s jarring. But that’s not the case in all of Islam – so I personally hate that a lot of this is shrugged off as “just Islamic stuff, I guess”.
Women’s rights are very heavily limited in Qatar, as I already mentioned… but it gets worse.
Extra-marital sex is heavily punished no matter what gender you are – but it hits women differently than men. On top of that, there was the case of a Mexican employee of the World Cup Organizing Committee who was accused of allegedly having sex outside of marriage when she reported rape.
She got raped, went to the police, and was then punished for it (just like others in the past). The man claimed to have been in a relationship with her after which the woman was investigated for extramarital sex. Women in Qatar face the possible penalty of Flagellation (getting whipped) and a seven-year prison sentence if convicted for having sex outside of marriage. This case in particular was dropped, however, months after she was allowed to leave Qatar.
So, you get sexually assaulted and go to the police. The perpetrator simply says he’s in a relationship with you… and suddenly, you’re getting punished and threatened with whippings and a prison sentence. If you’re there on a visit, you can’t leave the country either because you’re not only a woman but you also may have gotten your passport confiscated.
Let’s add the fact that there is no Age of Consent in Qatar. The Age of Consent is unnecessary since technically all extra-marital sex is illegal. There is no Age of Marriage, though, so in theory, you could groom children and do whatever you want with them if you pay the family enough money as a “gift”.
All Hope Lost in the Climate Crisis
Emissions don’t matter. Even if the EU as a whole and other countries manage to reduce their emissions completely… Qatar will easily screw us over.
All hope is lost. I give up. RIP to our future and the future generations that will have to take the brunt of it.
Qatar doesn’t have the infrastructure to house many visitors and guests. It’s a very small country, after all. The visitors that come in for the World Cup will be transported from Saudi Arabia via shuttle planes… back and forth… that alone is bad enough already but the actual stadium where the games take place are located in a desert where it gets up to 50°C in summer. Despite the event having been moved to November/December, it will still get incredibly hot there. It’s an open-roof venue that has ACs located in hundreds of places that are supposed to cool down the whole thing.
Still, despite all of this being the case, FIFA heavily markets the event as carbon neutral.
According to some official figures, the tournament will emit some 3.6 million tons of CO2 – which is roughly equal to the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s annual emissions.
The seven new stadiums’ emissions are supposed to be offset with green projects, according to Qatar. Gilles Dufrasne, author of the Carbon market Watch paper and policy officer at the Brussels-based NGO, says, however, that the organizers of the event are underplaying emissions by at least 1.6 million tons. Shocking.
Apparently, the new stadiums will be repurposed for things such as a boutique hotel, according to Qatar, but there are plenty of cases (like in Rio de Janeiro and Athens) where Olympics sports venues have been abandoned… the project is just not feasible.
It’s ill-defined and frankly, I doubt that it’s worth it. All of these roads and stadiums amounts to millions of tons of concrete that was brought and dumped into a desert, destroying natural habitats for what amounts to a publicity stunt to improve Qatar’s image and to distract from the atrocities committed in this country.
Here is an article on the carbon footprint of the 2022 World Cup. It goes a lot deeper than just these emissions. Water and waste disposal, other emissions caused by transport and travel, as well as the fact that all of these marketing lies are just not sustainable… Highly recommend reading that article!
Gianni Infantino is all for Slavery
Gianni Infantino is the current FIFA president and recently sparked a fair bit of controversy as of late with his bizarre opening speech, stating that he has “very strong feelings today”. He states that he feels Qatari, Arab, African, gay, disabled,… a migrant worker.
He obviously isn’t Qatari, Arab, African or even a migrant worker. I’m not sure if he’s gay or disabled but he himself helped covering up Qatari’s dreadfulness and the hideous crimes committed by Qatari. Qatari being this year’s World Cup host is a decision made in 2010 – something that he had no involvement in. Yes, that may be true, but he still is FIFA’s president nowadays and they effectively try to cover up the emissions and they try to market Qatari as an open and welcome country.
That’s what this speech is trying to accomplish as well.
He later goes into detail about how Europeans have to apologize for the past 3000 years and the future 3000 years… and that we don’t have the right to look at other countries and judge them.
The actual quote is about “moral lessons” but I’m pretty darn sure that “whipping people as a punishment for being in gay relationships or as a punishment for having been raped” is “not exactly great”. I don’t think that me judging Qatari for that stuff in 2022 is what people would consider a “moral lesson”. I’d love to hear what Infantino has to say about that or the nonexistent age of consent or the oppression of women.
Gianni Infantino then talks about migration and people in developing countries who are impoverished and go abroad to work in other countries – all for the sake of their families and their homes. It’s an emotional appeal that there are people out there starving and dying in poverty. Very valid.
But then he talks about how Qatari offers this to people. Not valid at all.
The exploitation of these poor people and the thousands of deaths (again video up there) and the poor working conditions and the lack of safety measures… Is Gianni Infantino (a rich, white, straight cis-man) trying to excuse all of this and trying to tell us that it’s okay that this happens?
He then continues to also talk about how Europe closes their borders and how Europe is the bad guy – again referencing “what we did in the past 3000 years” – and says that these people can legally work in Qatar and are invited to come there to work so that their families can survive.
It’s a rhetorical trick that is supposed to garner sympathy for Qatar. Europe is bad. Qatar is good. These people earn ten times more in Qatar than what they’d earn in their home countries, Gianni Infantino says…
Infantino doesn’t mention how workers go without pay for months or how people were electrocuted in their sleep or how people fell off and died daily during the construction of these stadiums.
Infantino doesn’t talk about deaths that happened for FIFA. Infantino doesn’t talk about people not being allowed to leave the country. Infantino would probably mention their poor families here who aren’t even told that their fathers, husbands, sons, and friends died.
Every decision that is made in regards to the World Cup, he continues, is made jointly by FIFA and Qatar.
Does that mean that FIFA also shares the responsibility of the carbon emissions and the deaths that happened in Qatar? Not sure.
Something that Gianni Infantino touches upon is some sort of moral hypocrisy that the “West” has going on. “The West” is not allowed to criticize the middle-East or Qatar specifically because of atrocities committed by the West.
Well, humans suck and humans did a lot of bad shit but they stopped. They changed. They take responsibility. It’s 2022 and people still receive whip lashes as punishment in Qatar. I guess we shouldn’t judge until we do that ourselves? I don’t know what to do with this argument.
Just because “we” did “bad stuff” in the past, does that excuse others from doing the same or worse daily? Just because countries like Germany, the UK, the US, etc. have very dark chapters in their history, does that mean that they can’t judge Qatar for violating human rights and oppressing people based on their sex, gender identity, and sexuality?
There are also controversies surrounding Qatar paying off fans and filming ads for different countries participating to manufacture artificial hype about the world. It’s the same people in other outfits in different places doing the same things, pretending to be soccer fans. Influencers received contracts to talk about Qatar (only positively) and to promote the event, as well…
Here’s an article on Qatar offering fans to participate in the event on the house as long as they don’t criticize Qatar and as long as they report people who do.
Gianni Infantino calls the people that voice those accusations “racist”.
This is very much in line with the Emir of Qatar’s statement that there is a global hate campaign against Qatar underway just because it’s Islamic and in the Middle East.
If France imported migrant workers to work and die as slaves or if Ireland introduced whiplashes as a valid punishment for crimes… I’m sure the outcry would be as big as for Qatar. I don’t think “race” has anything to do with it. Neither does religion.
I just wanted to talk about this topic. I believe that everyone watching this world cup closely should feel very, very bad while doing so. Everyone participating in a watch party or streaming it should know how many people died in this. Everyone should be aware of what a country like Qatar hosting this event means. Everyone who’s in support of this event should know that people died for this event.
Fuck Qatar. Seriously. It’s not about the race or whatever. It’s about their deeds.
Fuck FIFA. It’s not about the sport, it’s about the bribes they took and the blood they have on their hand as well because they allowed Qatar to host this event.
Fuck Gianni Infantino. He mentioned that he was bullied as a red-haired kid and that he understands the struggles of gay people and disabled people. That’s not the same at all. Bullying and persecution aren’t the same. Bullying and suffering aren’t the same.
Honestly, here’s yet another fuck you to Gianni Infantino for excusing these atrocities committed by Qatar and trying to “sportswash” modern day slavery and the exploitation of families with an emotional appeal so backwards that I seriously wonder how the fuck a person like him has not already been censored by FIFA.
How the fuck does a person like him get to ramble in a press conference? Even fucking Qatar understood that their official who did an interview with a ZDF journalist needs to shut up after calling “being gay” a “damage in the mind”. Qatar stopped the interview after that out of fear that even worse things would be said. Qatar understood that all of this is very, very bad for their image. Gianni Infantino didn’t understand that.
He probably doesn’t care. Infantino doesn’t care as long as he gets his paycheck. I’m sure he doesn’t even feel bad about what he’s excusing here.
And even if the number of 6,500 deaths is just an estimate, it doesn’t matter. Any death caused by this is on FIFA. After all, any decision made happened because of FIFA officials taking bribes (articles on Sepp Blatter admitting to it here, and here), and because of them trying to distract from any current issues.
Heck, there have been homophobic chants at the World Cup already, despite everyone claiming that they’re open and they are excited to show how diverse Qatar is.
The topic is huge and there are a lot of layers to this, so I had to limit what exactly I go into detail about and where I leave stuff out. We could talk about how Qatar funds terrorism and how I, as a Muslim, would disagree that Qatar’s politics have anything to do with Islam, especially considering how greedy the Emir of Qatar is – greed being a mortal sin in Islam… literally on the first few pages… But then we’d be here all-day.
Fuck the World Cup. Fuck FIFA. Fuck Qatar. Eat the rich. Boycott the World Cup.