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Former FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, has stirred another storm regarding awarding of 2022 World Cup hosting rights to Qatar. The disgraced former boss of the world football governing body was in the eye of a storm when Qatar emerged as the preferred host of the 2022 football spectacle. It is less than two weeks before the Winter World Cup kicks off. The first match will be between the hosts (Qatar) and Ecuador, on 20th November.
The latest statement by former FIFA boos barely two weeks before the big football event is expected to generate heated debate. In his latest admission of the mistake FIFA made in 2010, Sepp Blatter says Qatar is too small to host such a big event. He adds that it was a bad decision even though in 2014 he said the decision was made by the majority of the FIFA Executive Committee. Blatter further opines that the USA was the favourite to host the 2022 World Cup.
Blatter Blamed Majority Decision Amid World Cup Bribery Claims
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been a subject of controversy for more than ten years now. Bribery allegations have remained contentious as ever. There have been claims that Qatar paid huge bribes to host the World Cup.
Sepp Blatter who was disgraced and forced to resign over allegations of bribery during his tenure has mostly remained tight-lipped over the matter and has always seemed to blame the FIFA Executive Committee for Qatar’s blunder.
At some point, Sepp Blatter was said to be under investigation by the US and FBI over bribery chronic bribery in the world football governing body-FIFA.
It is not the first time that Blatter is expressing misgivings over the award of World Cup 2022. In 2014, the former FIFA president admitted that it was a mistake. However, due to a decision by a majority at FIFA, overturning a decision to host World Cup in 2022 in Qatar was impossible. Another issue was having the World Cup take place in summer, a season in which Qatar experiences sweltering temperatures. It was later agreed that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is moved to Winter.
Poor Record on human rights Also Dents Qatar’s Image Ahead of World Cup
The 2022 World Cup hosts have increasingly been criticized for human rights violations. Most recently, Amnesty International compiled a report on worrying human rights abuses in Qatar. Qatar has been criticized for laxity in compensating migrant workers who constructed the World Cup Stadia. Hundreds were reported dead and thousands injured during the construction of the 8 new World Cup Stadiums. Most of the migrant workers, according to ILO, were of Nepali, Bangladeshi and Indian origin.
According to International Labour Organization (ILO), 95% of Qatar’s workforce are migrants. Qatar’s punitive foreign labour laws, low wages and poor working conditions that migrant workers have had to endure for many years are at the centre of human labour issues.
Concerns have also been raised regarding Qatar’s handling of the LGBTQ + community. LGBTQ+ laws in Qatar have been termed as ‘harsh’ by activists and Rights bodies.