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Friday’s topic is on whether the Fifa World Cup in Qatar. The comment stream will be open from 12pm to 5pm on Friday November 25, and will be strictly moderated according to our terms and conditions, so please read them before you start posting.
The Fifa World Cup is usually full of drama and controversy on the field. But this year’s tournament in Qatar has almost been more infamous for the controversy surrounding it.
Qatar has been under scrutiny for its human rights record and laws criminalizing homosexuality and its treatment of migrant workers.
Fifa, football’s governing body, issued a warning just hours before England and the Netherlands were set to play. The captains of seven European teams – including the Dutch and English captains – were planning to wear the heart-shaped, multicolored logo of the “One Love” campaign. Fifa said the players would immediately be shown a yellow card and could face further consequences.
* Germany’s players cover mouths at World Cup in Fifa protest
* Belgium’s Foreign Minister confronts Fifa president while wearing ‘One Love’ armband
* 18-year-old Gavi leads Spain to a 7-0 rout of Costa Rica at the World Cup
Meanwhile, Qatar has also banned the consumption of alcohol at games, despite previously saying this would be allowedand beer company Budweiser being a sponsor of the tournament.
Champagne, wine, whiskey and other alcohol is still to be served in the luxury hospitality areas of the stadiums.
Restrictions have been placed on what fans are allowed to wear. They must be fully dressed at all times and no “intimate parts” can be revealed. So taking off your shirt or wearing a bikini is not an option.
We want Stuff readers to share their thoughts on this Fifa World Cup in the comments.
- Qatar won its bid to host the tournament in 2010. Executive committee members voted it as the best option over the United States, with 14 votes for Qatar and eight for the US. In 2010, Russia was awarded the 2018 World Cup during the same vote as Qatar. Since then 17 of the 22 FIFA executive committee members have been banned or indicted over allegations of corruption and wrongdoing
- Sepp BlatterFifa’s president at the time Qatar was selected to host the world, said this month the decision was a mistake.
- Most of the criticism of Qatar has focused on the conservative Muslim country’s human rights record, whether that be its anti-LGBT laws (being homosexual is a crime punishable by three years in prison or even death), women’s rights, or its treatment of migrant workers.
- Some teams and players at the tournament and fans around the world are finding ways to protest the issues that concern them.
- The English football team traveled to the FIFA World Cup in Virgin Atlantic’s LGBTI+ Pride plane named Rain Bow, as a show of defiance against Qatar’s laws.
- Germany’s players covered their mouths for the team photo before their opening World Cup match on Thursday to protest against Fifa following the governing body’s clampdown on the “One Love” armband.
- Meanwhile, former Qatari national team player and tournament ambassador Khalid Salman has described homosexuality as a “damage in the mind”. He said being gay was “haram,” or forbidden in Arabic, and that he had a problem with children seeing gay people.
By the numbers
- An estimate 6500 migrant workers in Qatar from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in the last decade working on stadiums and infrastructure for the tournament. Qatar disputes this, claiming only 38 deaths have been work-related.
- 1.2 million international tourists are expected to visit Qatar during the World Cup.
- About 3 million people live in Qatar, meaning it is the smallest host by size since the 1954 tournament in Switzerland.
- Thousands of empty seats have been seen at the games so far.
- Budweiser’s has a US$75 million (NZ$121 million) four-year sponsorship deal with Fifa.
- Unsold beer from the games will be sent to the country that wins the tournament.