In 2010, Qatar won the right to host 2022 World Cup. It became a significant achievement because no Asian country has been hosting this international sporting event since 2002 when the tournament was organized by South Korea and Japan. Such events as FIFA World Cup provide many opportunities for the hosting country. First of all, they attract tourists and thus make a powerful tourism resource.
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Also, World Cup contributes to the promotion of foreign relations, national branding, and increase in investment (Henderson, 2016). At the same time, international attention arises many challenges for the country and turns local peculiarities into global concerns. In the context of 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, such key concepts as human rights, social and political aspects, and environmental issues, are of particular interest. Consequently, corresponding global connections are reviewed in the media and discussed in society.
2022 FIFA World Cup: Issues of Human Rights
The issue of human rights in general and discrimination in particular is significant for the FIFA. During the preparation to Qatar hosting the World Cup, there are at least two important human rights problems. First of all, the community is worried by the conditions of work for migrants who are involved in the construction of the World Cup objects. Working in unfavorable weather conditions of high temperature and humidity, the health of workers is exposed to risk (Lewis, 2017). Thus, the International Labor Organization is worried by the work-related deaths in Qatar and makes attempts to interfere, but the local authorities do not support the initiative (Lewis, 2017).
Another problem that appeared in the context of 2022 World Cup in Qatar, is connected with attitudes to sexual minorities. Arab countries in general and Qatar in particular are known for intolerance to homosexual relations and homophobic policies that can become a problem for a big international event (Ali, 2014). There are discussions dedicated to the issue of LGBTQ equality in non-Western countries, but no active actions have been taken.
2022 FIFA World Cup: Political Aspects
Political issues are the integral components of any big international event including sports. It is particularly true about the countries with specific political views or those involved in international conflicts. In case of Qatar hosting World Cup 2022, the political problem is caused by its relations, or rather no relations with Israel. In fact, Qatar does not recognize Israel as a state. Thus, Israel initiated a campaign against Qatar as the location for World Cup as a part of its interventions to isolate the activity of Hamas (Dorsey, n.d.).
The major slogans included anti-terrorist ideas and were followed by fans and Israel supporters around the world. The idea is to prevent funding terrorism claiming that Qatar plays a significant role in financing terrorist organizations and awarding 2022 FIFA World Cup to this country would mean the support of terrorism (Dorsey, n.d.). Still, despite this problem and some other aspects related to not following the FIFA code of ethics by Qatar, the preparation for the World Cup is going on (Westall, 2017).
2022 FIFA World Cup: Environmental Issues
Being one of the leading exporters of oil and natural gas in the world due to the developed energy industry, Qatar suffers from high carbon dioxide emissions. Thus, environmental issues should be a priority in general and in conditions of a big international sporting event in particular. Environmental aspects are significant for big sporting events due to the necessity of hosting many tourists as well as tournament participants.
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Moreover, excessive building to meet the FIFA demands can also have negative impact on the environment. Still, the later problem is likely to be successfully addressed in Qatar. At present, the country is launching stadium designs for World Cup 2022 that do not only place thousands of spectators, but are “capable of being reassembled on another site or turned into multiple smaller venues” (FIFA, 2017). This project follows a unique innovative design and uses modular blocks in its construction. The fact that the construction is demountable is a solution of the problem of uselessness of dig arenas after the event is over. Its location also contributes to the sustainability of the project because of efficient transportation.
On the whole, the global connections identified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, are not new. They have been existing for decades and came into light due to the coming tournament. On the one hand, these issues are challenging. The problem of human rights and support of terrorism can negatively influence the image of Qatar on the international arena while their experience of interventions aimed at sustainability can be followed.
At the same time, intensive attention of international community to the mentioned problems that are related to the global concerns provides an opportunity for the solution of these issues. Thus, there is possibility to cease the conflict with Israel, improve labor policies, review homophobic laws, and continue the sustainable development of the country. Generally speaking, a country involved into such big activities should be ready to face challenges and make use of the opportunities.
Ali, L. (2014). LGBTQ criticism about the 2022 World Cup are not about protecting gays in Qatar. Muftah. Web.
Dorsey, J. (n.d.). Israel mobilizes to deprive Qatar of the World Cup. Huffington Post. Web.
FIFA. (2017). SC launches first ever fully demountable FIFA World Cup™ stadium. Web.
Henderson, J.C. (2016). Hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup: Opportunities and challenges for Qatar. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 3-4, 281-298. Web.
Lewis, A. (2017). Migrant workers subjected to heat and humidity being put at risk, says Human Rights Watch. CNN Sport +. Web.
Westall, S. (2017). FIFA says Qatar ‘may not have’ met World Cup bid standards, but it’s still hosting it. Global News. Web.