You will not find another edition of the FIFA World Cup that is surrounded by as much controversy as the 2022 edition. In fact, the only one that comes close is the 2018 FIFA World Cup which was held in Russia. From innocent migrant workers being treated like slaves and losing their life over a lie to having to move the competition to the winter to deal with the Middle East’s intense heat, this was a bad idea from the start.
Out of all the dirty situations to come to light at the height of the FIFA corruption scandal this was one of the worst. On that fateful day in December of 2010, FIFA unknowingly signed the World Cup hosting rights away in blood, arguably twice when they awarded the 2018 FIFA World Cup to Russia and the 2022 edition to Qatar. This is something that can never happen again and everyone responsible should feel ashamed of themselves.
Workers’ rights have been a constant issue during this entire process as thousands of workers have died due to unsafe conditions. On top of the concerns of the LGBTQ community and a diplomatic crisis and at one time, expected Russian involvement, issues are overflowing for a spectacle that is supposed to bring the world together through the beautiful game of football.
2022 FIFA World Cup Outlook
30 of the 32 FIFA World Cup teams are known at the time of writing and the other two will be decided in less than a week. It is sure to be an incredible month-long spectacular full of great games and moments. There are tons of storylines, like the USMNT’s return after missing in 2018, as well as the Italian’s missing a second straight World Cup as well. There is also a real possibility that this will be the final World Cup for both Messi and Ronaldo and that these two legends of the game will be ending their international careers following the tournament.
Regardless of what magical moment occurs and who ends up winning the entire thing, there will always be a dark black cloud cast over what was supposed to be a return to a sense of normalcy after a global pandemic has crippled the world for the last three years. I do not want to give off the narrative that the Middle East should never host another FIFA World Cup again, because that’s not what this article is about. The Middle East is a beautiful place, with a ton of gorgeous cities to see and places to go. However, Qatar or Russia for that matter as well should never come near another hosting opportunity ever again.
My hope for this year’s edition of the World Cup is that people will always remember what a mistake it was, but also that the people in attendance use it as a platform to spread change and positivity. That we as a human race do not just move on and forget the disaster and travesty that this World Cup hosting bid has caused and we always remember just how awful it was, as thousands of people lose their lives, due to the inhumane treatment they were subjected to by the nation and government of Qatar.
The blood is on the hands of FIFA and this will forever be a black eye on the reputation of the governing body of football. No matter how far removed we are from the corruption scandal and all the trials, imprisonments, and everything else, this is something that will remain forever and it should be a lesson for people that this is a one-time occurrence that should never repeat itself again.