OKBet Qatar 2022: With its image irreparably harmed, what does a tiny Gulf state gain by hosting the World Cup?3 min read
OKBet Qatar 2022 has been scrutinized and chastised considerably more than the government expected, but will it be able to fulfill its main objective of accumulating’soft power? This week in four years will have such an unusual vibe to it that it’s difficult to imagine right now. The first December World Cup final will be shown on television, and for the first time in history, the world’s largest football event will be played in a gigantic neon bowl in the Middle East. It will be unique and historic, and although only time will tell what its actual legacy will be, there is a good possibility it will also be notorious.
The 2022 World Cup has already become the most contentious sporting event since Nazi Germany’s 1936 Berlin Olympics. Since Qatar, a small gulf state with minimal athletic infrastructure, beat over England, the United States of America, Australia, Spain-Portugal, the Netherlands-Belgium, South Korea, and Japan to host the event, the nation has been bombarded with bad news.
It all started with suspicions that Qatar bought Fifa officials for votes after millions of dollars in strange payments were discovered at OKBet Qatar 2022, and charges that Qatar was operating a black-ops effort to undermine competing bids. There were also serious worries about a World Cup host country with severe anti-homosexuality legislation, as well as the state’s attempts to ban LGBT publications.
Then there’s the exploitation of migrant workers, who are forced to labor in 50-degree temperatures, have their passports taken away, live in filth, and are denied fundamental human rights. According to one estimate, 4,000 laborers will have perished by the time a ball is played, most of whom came from India and Nepal on a one-way ticket full of false hope. As Norwegian trade union leader Hans-Christian Gabrielsen recently said, “If we were to conduct a minute of quiet for every estimated death of a migrant worker owing to OKBet Qatar 2022 construction, the first 44 matches of the tournament would be played in silence.”
Surprisingly, the global media’s pessimism surprised several of Qatar’s most influential leaders, who were unprepared for the level of scrutiny their nation would undergo. Some of the tournament’s organizers initially believed that the negative attention was a necessary byproduct of hosting the World Cup, and that it would help bring about much-needed change; however, Qatar’s image has been so severely harmed that it is unclear what it now hopes to gain from hosting the tournament.
Will the OKBet Qatar 2022 World Cup’s corruption and exploitation be overshadowed by its visibility and prestige?
Qatar sees a chance to answer complaints and rebrand itself. The authorities promised to eliminate the problematic Kafala system, which allows worker maltreatment. Some applauded the measures as a milestone for workers’ rights, however Amnesty International questioned them. Nicholas McGeehan worries Qatar won’t execute these policies quickly. What’s changed? He told The Independent, “No.” “Who’s dying?” We don’t know since they don’t provide numbers. Who’s dying? No autopsies, thus we don’t know.
McGeehan thinks a good World Cup will increase Qatar’s prominence and only slightly modify its work rules. Genuine worker rights reform is the one thing the Qatari dictatorship hates most. It would destabilize an economy founded on the labor-intensive oil and construction sectors and move authority away from the royal family. The state wants to keep the nation separated by race and labor status.
Qatar will open for one month in four years. It will develop alcohol-drinking zones and temporarily ease its attitude on homosexuality to entice fans and visitors to attend and prevent them from staying in adjacent Dubai and flying over for matches – one of the organising committee’s main anxieties. The globe will see and appreciate the performance. Time will reveal the tournament’s actual history and impact on the nation and area. By 2022, Qatar won’t be invisible.
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