The FIFA World Cup to be hosted in Qatar continues to be disastrous as the kick off in 2022 inches closer. Starting off to a bad start, whistle blowers have claimed that bribes were offered in exchange for votes in order to host the event. Rampant corruption has been a major concern from the start. While this is problematic in its own right, it is only the tip of the iceberg.
Qatar has had multiple reports of poor working conditions for migrant workers. Over 900 workers have died in the construction of infrastructure needed to host the games and it is still seven years from the start. Poor working conditions, hard labor in extreme temperatures, and denial of free drinking water fuel these deaths. Other problems include wage theft and few worker rights also add to the many problems in Qatar. The question must be asked, “Why is a country that is allowing so many worker abuses allowed to host the FIFA World Cup?” Little has been done to correct the situation. Robert Booth from the Guardian explains the working conditions in an article in Smithsonian:
“Workers described forced labour in 50C (122F) heat, employers who retain salaries for several months and passports making it impossible for them to leave and being denied free drinking water. The investigation found sickness is endemic among workers living in overcrowded and insanitary conditions and hunger has been reported. Thirty Nepalese construction workers took refuge in the their country’s embassy and subsequently left the country, after they claimed they received no pay.”
Major sponsors such as Coca-Cola and VISA recently released statements condemning the poor working conditions in Qatar.
A statement from VISA:
“We continue to be troubled by the reports coming out of Qatar related to the World Cup and migrant worker conditions,” reads the statement. “We have expressed our grave concern to FIFA and urge them to take all necessary actions to work with the appropriate authorities and organizations to remedy this situation and ensure the health and safety of all involved.”
A statement from Coca-Cola:
“The Coca-Cola Company does not condone human rights abuses anywhere in the world,” writes Coca-Cola. “We know FIFA is working with Qatari authorities to address questions regarding specific labor and human rights issues. We expect FIFA to continue taking these matters seriously and to work toward further progress.”
While these statements are a start, they are not enough. Many sponsors have refused to pull their sponsorships of the games. They may feel as if making statements is enough to change the situation. The plain fact is this: Sponsorships of the 2022 World Cup only fuel further worker abuses. By sponsoring an event that is allowing human rights abuses to happen, these companies support the human right abuses.
What You Can Do
Coca-Cola, VISA, Adidas and many other major sponsors refuse to pull their sponsorships of Qatar 2022. You can help promote awareness, though. Please let these companies know that their sponsorships indirectly support the poor working conditions in Qatar. Images have been created to promote awareness of the problems. Share these on social media. It is a great way to promote the issue!
Coca-Cola: Proudly supports the human rights abuses of Qatar 2022. Credit: www.reddit.com/u/3rdstrongestmole
Adidas: Proudly supports the human rights abuses of Qatar 2022. Credit: http://www.reddit.com/user/TbrendanM
VISA: Proudly supports the human rights abuses of Qatar 2022. Credit: https://www.reddit.com/user/SockUnicornKia: Proudly supports the human rights abuses of Qatar 2022. Credit: Source deleted.
Something as simple as a tweet or a share can promote further awareness. With enough support, these sponsors will pull out their support of the Qatar World Cup in 2022. Thanks for reading, and as always, keep An Opened Mind.