Heard on the Quad: World Cup

Although soccer, or fútbol, is not the most popular sport in the United States, it is in almost every other country. The FIFA World Cup matches began on November 21st and the anxiously awaited final will be on December 18th.  The event draws higher viewership than the Olympics, with over 3.56 billion people around the world having watched it. Qatar is the first country in the Middle East to host the World Cup, however, FIFA’s choice of location has been highly contested, and this is why.Qatar is a small country and didn’t have the resources, such as hotels and stadiums, needed to host a world cup. What Qatar did to solve this problem was a huge violation of human rights. Workers were living and working in terrible conditions, and there have been reports of over 6500 deaths related to work accidents and heat.

These events surrounding the World Cup produced some interesting questions. What do people in the 8-9 campus think about the World Cup being hosted in Qatar? How much do these students care about soccer? These questions were asked around the 8-9 campus and here were some of the responses:

“It’s probably not good that the World Cup used a bunch of foreigner workers to make their stadiums and didn’t pay them well, but I think hosting it in Qatar might help improve the living conditions there.”

“I find it an extreme human rights violation.”

“If they are going against human rights violations, that isn’t very cool”

“Qatar is not a very good country for the world cup. They totally got bribed.”

“The world cup being hosted in Qatar is pretty unexpected”

“I have no opinion, cool i guess”

“I don’t pay attention to soccer.”

“I think it’s good for Qatar’s economics, but it’s kind of random”

“The human rights violations suck but I’m neutral on the World Cup.”

“I don’t know, I just wanna watch soccer.”

“I don’t think it’s ethical, but I don’t really care about soccer”

“It’s fine, I know nothing about soccer”

“I don’t think people really care about it.”

“They are anti LGBTQ and I hate soccer.”

“Really bad idea, they bribed them with a lot of money.”

As the World Cup comes to a close, people can’t help but ask why Qatar hosted it in the first place. Seven stadiums were built in an unbelievably short period of time, and people were paid unlivable wages to build these stadiums. If it was such a big problem to prepare Qatar for the World Cup, why was that the chosen country for it? What are the requirements for any country to hold the World Cup? Underpaying employees is currently a major problem in the world, and paying under minimum wage is considered a human rights violation. It seems that many of the students at the Academy notice this problem in the World Cup. Some of these students don’t care much about soccer. Some just want to see the team rooting for a win. No matter your view, it is important to keep bringing these types of issues up to the surface so they can be recognized and, hopefully, resolved. Feel free to have open and polite discussion in the comments with your ideas on this topic.