Home Sport news six annoying questions one year from the kickoff – Release

six annoying questions one year from the kickoff – Release

by archysport

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, a contested competitiondossier

While the opening of the World Cup will take place in a year exactly, return to the questions and scandals that still surround the competition.

One of the most controversial World Cups in history will begin in Qatar a year from now. Since the award of the premier competition of world football to this small desert country of 2.7 million inhabitants, scandals and questions have multiplied. Investigations for corruption, human rights, environmental damage … Libé looks back on six points of tension 365 days from the start of the competition.

What results for the sites of death?

To host the 2022 World Cup, Qatar knew they were going to have to build. Much to build even: the emirate planned the creation of eight stadiums, the first metro in the country, and even an entire city – Lusail – which is to host the opening match and the final of the competition. To set up all its infrastructure, the country relied on immigrant workers, who represent more than 90% of its population.

Under a blazing sun – temperatures exceeding 45 degrees for several months of the year – and under conditions described by many NGOs as modern slavery, foreign workers have therefore been charcoal for years. At the risk of losing his life. Difficult to quantify precisely the number of deceased immigrant workers, according to Amnesty International, so much the Qatari authorities are opaque and refuse to any objective investigation on the subject.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), at least 50 of them would have lost their lives on the World Cup sites in 2020 alone and more than 37,000 were injured. In a survey released in February, the Guardian even went much further by asserting that more than 6,500 foreign workers would have died during the past decade to allow the competition to take place.

Towards a catastrophic environmental record?

The upcoming World Cup is all about an ecological scandal, even though the Minister of the Environment of Qatar declared without trembling in 2018 that the World Cup would have “A neutral carbon footprint”. We can first of all wonder about the usefulness of the many stadiums that have emerged from the ground over the past ten years in a country of 2.7 million inhabitants. What will be done with the 80,000 seats in the Lusail stadium once the competition is over? Was it really worth building such an infrastructure, in a city that didn’t even exist a few years ago, for just a handful of meetings?

Then come the climatic conditions. To avoid the suffocating temperatures of summer, Qatar has decided to play the World Cup in winter. But the Qatari winter is not the French winter: the thermometer can still reach around thirty degrees. To put the players in the best conditions, the emirate will therefore use air-conditioned stadiums. The Doha stadium can, for example, allow the temperature to drop to 15 degrees on the lawn when it is over 40 degrees outside. At the cost of a carbon footprint that we imagine salty, the stadium being open-air.

A World Cup awarded under the background of corruption?

While the United States were the big favorites, the emirate surprised everyone in 2010 when it was named the host country of the competition. Many wondered about this surprise appointment and judicial inquiries were opened in Switzerland, the United States, and especially in France to lift the veil on the conditions of this attribution.

In France, it is a lunch organized at the Elysee Palace at the end of November 2010 which interests the courts. Around the table Nicolas Sarkozy, President in office, as well as Michel Platini, then boss of UEFA, and the two most senior Qatari leaders: the crown prince of Qatar, Tamim ben Hamad al Thani – who has since become an emir – and Hamad ben Jassem al Thani, Prime Minister at the time. Nine days later, on December 2, 2010, the Gulf country was designated to host the World Cup in 2022 with last-minute support from Michel Platini.

A few months later, the Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) bought PSG for 76 million euros. And Laurent Platini, the son of the former star of the France team, becomes provisional general manager of the Qatari equipment supplier Burrda Sport, a subsidiary of QSI. French justice wonders if this hiring was a counterpart to the vote of Michel Platini. The Platini clan has always denied these accusations. The investigation nevertheless earned Michel Platini and Sophie Dion, technical advisor in charge of Sarkozy’s sports at the Elysee Palace. The investigations are still continuing even if no indictment has yet been pronounced, according to AFP.

Will some countries go so far as to boycott?

In recent months, several countries have put pressure on Qatar. Before their first qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup, the German and Norwegian players showed up wearing branded jerseys “human rights”, in reference to the accusations hovering over the construction sites of the stadiums of the competition.

The federations of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland have also multiplied critical messages against the Qatari authorities. Norway, for example, threatened to boycott the world for a while (it is ultimately not qualified). These movements, however, remain on the margins and silence remains as much for the stars of the round ball as for the institutions of world football.

Will the 2022-2023 season be marked by injuries?

Playing a World Cup in the middle of winter is turning the calendar of all the big European clubs upside down. The championships will have to stop for more than a month between November and December 2022, while the meetings increase in normal times during this period. The clubs therefore risk playing at an infernal pace over the rest of the year to make up for the time that the World Cup will make them lose, at the risk of exhausting the players and therefore increasing the number of injuries.

In addition, the preparation of national selections will be upset. The French and English championships, for example, announced that they would pause their season on the evening of November 13, just a week before the start of the World Cup. In comparison, the Blues had had a month to prepare for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

What about alcohol in all of this?

For the first time since its inception, the World Cup will be held in a Muslim country, where access to alcoholic beverages is restricted to say the least. Goodbye to viral social media videos of supporters barely standing at 11 a.m. on match day? Not sure: in recent years, Qatar has largely liberalized access to alcohol in some places.

However, alcoholic beverages are still particularly taboo and only certain restaurants serve them, often intended for foreign tourists. For the 2022 World Cup, Qatari organizers promise that alcohol will be available in venues “Intended for supporters”. During the 2019 Club World Cup that Qatar hosted, a fan zone of 45,000 people was set up in which alcohol was on sale, for example.

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