FIFA 2022: Human Rights Concerns
The controversial decision to host the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in November in Qatar has caused concern among individuals and organisations.
2022 will be the first time a World Cup Final has been held in the Middle East or at this time of year. With a population of 2.9 million, Qatar is one of the most affluent countries in the world due to its gas and oil exports. The country also violates the human rights of LGBTQIA+ people, sentencing those found to have engaged in same-sex relationships to as much as seven years in prison.
After a UEFA task force (led by FA CEO Mark Bullingham) travelled to Qatar for a 3rd planning visit, for meetings held with several agencies, including Qatar’s ruling Supreme Committee and their FA, as well as human rights organisations.
UEFA said: “Progress has been made but it was clear from individual experiences that more awareness of the new laws is needed across both workers and employers.” “The remaining months before the tournament present further opportunities for important and necessary changes.”
UEFA maintained: “The visit reinforced that changes are taking place and acknowledged that the World Cup has accelerated change positively. “However, the discussions emphasised the need for comprehensive efforts, both before and after the World Cup, to ensure that football continues to serve as a positive catalyst for change.”
QATARI World Cup officials assured gay fans they will not suffer persecution if they visit the country in November.
The World Cup’s organisers have replied that “everyone is welcome” but confirmed that Qatar will not relax its laws on homosexuality during the event. Groups representing gay football fans have asked the Qatar government to “guarantee their safety”.
Some Wales fans have said they will boycott the tournament, despite their team having qualified.