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2022 FIFA World Cup controversies: Why are people boycotting the World Cup?
The World Cup is a tournament supposed to bring happiness, joy, and togetherness worldwide as fans cheer for their favourite teams. However, the tournament has controversies that have prompted some fans to boycott it. So, what are some of the 2022 FIFA World Cup controversies?
The Qatar World Cup is filled with controversies, from corruption allegations to the situation surrounding migrant workers. However, this is not the first World Cup with controversies, as the selection process and the tournament have always been filled with corruption allegations. Read on to see what controversies have ailed the tournament in recent years.
2022 FIFA World Cup controversies
The 2022 World Cup is not the only controversial tournament, given the competition's history. From the 1936 World Cup in Germany to 2018 Russia, the competition always has a dark side, ranging from the handing over of the host countries to match-fixing allegations. So, why are people boycotting the World Cup?
1. Corruption Allegations
First, there have been allegations that money was exchanged in favour of Qatar hosting the competition. At that time in 2010, the country lacked proper football infrastructure, and it was a concern how they won the bid. Both Qatar and FIFA have denied any claims.
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In a recent interview, however, the former FIFA president said awarding Qatar the opportunity was a mistake, taking responsibility for himself as the former leader. He said,
"It's a country that's too small. It was a bad choice. And I was responsible for that as president at the time."
2. Workers' rights
It has also been noted that more than 6500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since 2012. Thirty-seven of those workers died while working on the stadia. However, the Qatari government refuted the claims. In a statement, they said,
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"The mortality rate among these communities is within the expected range for the size and demographics of the population. However, every lost life is a tragedy, and no effort is spared in trying to prevent every death in our country."
3. LGBTQ+ rights
There have also been concerns about LGBTQ+ rights in the country. The country is majority Muslim, and homosexuality is outlawed. However, the CEO of the tournament said,
"I reiterate the message of Qatar being a safe country, a hospitable country and I am confident that anybody that comes to Qatar is going to feel welcome and safe. However when it comes to Qatar, we are talking about a football world cup we are talking about a sporting event… I think that the sporting event should be a sporting event and people should enjoy the sport."
Despite the Qatari 2022 CEO, Nasser al-Khater, assuring the public that the tournament will not be destructive to the environment as they have put in infrastructure, including ultramodern airconditioning, to the stadiums. Climate researchers have said the claim of carbon neutrality was false and the emissions will be harmful.
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Why is Qatar hosting the World Cup controversial?
So, why are people boycotting Qatar? The people believe that the migrant workers were treated poorly, with many dying in the construction of the stadiums. They also believe that LGBTQ+ rights have not been catered for in the country.
Why are teams boycotting Qatar?
No team has boycotted Qatar, as the tournament has already begun. The team have confirmed their arrival in the country to participate in the most prestigious tournament in football.
Is FIFA corrupt in Qatar?
FIFA has reiterated that they have not been corrupt in Qatar. The current FIFA president defended their position, claiming that most people were unfairly biased against Qatar.
Top 10 World Cup controversies
The World Cup brings happiness to billions of fans worldwide every four years. But the tournament is not short of controversies. Each tournament has its shortcomings, and here are the top 10 most controversial moments in World Cup history so far:
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10. Goal disallowed from the stands France vs Kuwait(1982)
This must be the funniest event on the list. Kuwait was losing four one to France when a whistle was blown from the stands, and it turned out to be Kuwait's Football Association president, Sheikh Fahad, prompting the players to stop disallowing France's goal. He called all the players aside from the pitch. It was the first time in tournament history that a game was stopped by a non-official.
9. Josip Simunic's three yellow cards, Croatia vs Australia(2006)
In a normal football match, a player is shown a red card after being shown two consecutive yellow cards in one game, but not in 2006. English referee Graham Poll gave the same player, Josip Simunic, three yellow cards in the 7th minute, 61st minute, and 90th minute and finally, a red card came when the match was over, and the player went over and pushed Poll.
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8. The Battle of Nuremberg, Portugal vs Netherlands(2006)
The game has to be one of the most chaotic games in World Cup history, with a record four red cards and 16 yellow cards being handed to both teams. The referee clearly lost control of the game, and it was so bad that FIFA president at that time, Sepp Blatter, said that he should have given himself a yellow card for the officiating. The game ended up one-nil in favour of Portugal though there were complaints when Figo headbutted another player and only got a yellow card, as a red card is normally the penalty.
7. Battle of Santiago, Chile vs Italy(1962)
The two teams went into the match full of tension due to Italian journalists' careless remarks after the biggest earthquake in history took place in Chile. Police had to intervene many times as players were fighting as soon as the 12th minute when Honorino Landa was sent off and escorted by police because he did not want to leave the pitch. Other issues were Leonel Sanchez punching Mario David and David kicking back Sanchez.
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Sanchez also broke Humberto Maschio's nose, causing a big brawl leading to police intervening. Chile won the game two nil.
6. German advances instead of Algeria labelled as "antifootball" (1982)
Algeria had just qualified for their first World Cup and started their successful campaign by beating West Germany and were close to advancing to the next round, but that was not the case. West Germany needed one goal against Austria to advance. West Germany got the goal in he early minutes of the game, and the two teams did nothing to challenge each other throughout the game.
The two advanced, with Algeria being left out with the West German coach Jupp Derwall saying,
"we wanted to progress, not play football."
This prompted FIFA to change the rules to play the final games simultaneously.
5. Italy stands up for Fascism, France vs Italy(1938)
It was just before WWII when France and Italy faced each other, and both had blue jerseys; Italy was prompted to wear their white ones, but that was not the case. Italy came out with black shirts called the Maglia Nera, a symbol of the Italian Fascist Paramilitary and to make things worse; they did the fascist salute.
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4. South Korea and the officials(2002)
This case became one of the worst match-fixing scandals at the World Cup. South Korea was the host nation and had a good run, but the referees made their campaign seem worse. Ecuadorian referee, Byron Moreno, disallowed a perfect Italian goal in the group stage, sending off Totti for diving, allowing the Koreans to win 2-1.
In the quarterfinals, the Egyptian referee Gamal Al-Ghandour disallowed two legal Spanish goals, with the linesman ensuring the Spanish attacks were all overruled offside.
3. Hand of God, Diego Maradona, Argentina vs England(1986) and his doping scandal(1994)
Maradona scored one of the most controversial goals in World football ever in the quarterfinal tie against England in the 51st minute against goalkeeper Peter Shilton. It was the match's first goal, and Argentina won 2-1. He tested positive for banned substances in the 1994 tournament and was suspended with Argentina being knocked out.
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2. Argentina World Cup win, 1978
Argentina beating Peru 6 nil when they needed four goals to get into the final over Brazil was one of the controversies, with it emerging that the Peruvian goalkeeper was born in Argentina. In the final, the Argentinians stressed the Dutch by forcing them to take a longer rule to the stadium and were alone for 10 minutes with the Argentinian fans shouting at them the whole time.
1. Bakhramov Rules Geoff Hurst's Goal, West Germany v England(1966)
This was the most controversial allowed goal in the 101st minute when the ball hit the crossbar, ricocheted down the goal line, and went out. This left the referee with a problem with what to do. Bakhramov believed that the ball hit the net and not the crossbar. On his deathbed, he was asked if he was sure it was a goal, and he gave a one-word reply, "Stalingrad".
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The 2022 FIFA World Cup controversies are some of the most in one tournament. However, it is not the first tournament filled with controversial actions. Referees, organisers, teams and fans have all been involved in this debacle. This has led to the competition's quality being degraded. Still, measures are implemented every other year to ensure the issues do not repeat themselves, limiting the chances of talented players winning the trophy.
Sportsbrief.com also published facts about Senegal's World Cup squad for 2022. Despite the loss of Sadio Mane, their main man, through injury, the team is optimistic that they can challenge for the title. The team won the last edition of AFCON and is one of the five African countries in the tournament. Read more about the team here!