Ethical Issues Surrounding a World Cup

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What Does it Cost to Host a World Cup

Introduction
In the year 2022, the world cup will be located in Qatar, a country with a population of around two million people, with ten percent being Qatari citizens and the ninety percent being foreign workers. The workers in Qatar are trapped in a labour system that uses forced labour and trafficking, in which migrate workers pay unreasonable recruitment fees to come to Qatar and when they arrive their passports get confiscated by their employers. In addition, their legal status to their employer requires them to need an exit visa from that employer in order to be able to leave the country. Often the employer will refuse to provide an exit visa or will not pay them for a few months causing them to basically be enslaved to their employer. Furthermore, many voluntarily travel to Qatar from Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Syria, in order to find work as a laborer or servant but are subsequently faced with terrible conditions involving physical and or financial harm. Examples of this include withholding of pay, confiscation of their passports, job switching, false chargers, physical and mental abuse, and arbitrary detention. Also, they usually live in unsanitary and cramped conditions with extremely long hours and sometimes unpaid wages. Whether one is a well-paid professional or a poor migrant worker, the basic rights and freedoms are not existent for workers in Qatar. This working system is known as the Kafala system. It is clear that both FIFA and the employers of the workers, along with the government of Qatar are acting unethically, both not showing any signs of corporate responsibility and both working towards bettering oneself verses the community as a whole. If FIFA is going to place an event in a location that struggles when it comes to legal and ethical responsibilities, FIFA itself needs to be prepared to at least make sure that the process to construct and prepare for this world cup occurs in an ethical and legal manner.

The Event
Prior to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the International Trade Union predicted that about 4000 migrant workers could potentially die due to the terrible working conditions including salty drinking water, long hours in extreme heat, and living in cramped areas. In fact, since they originally announced the location of the cup, 1200 workers have already died, making the estimate of 4000 people seem a bit on the safe side if things were to continue on the same. This means that this event will take more lives than 9/11. About 500,000 extra workers are predicted to be needed in preparing for the World Cup, adding to the current total of around 1.4 million migrant workers that will be working under unfair labour practices in Qatar. Theo Zwanziger, a member of the FIFA executive, stated, “What do you expect of a football organization? FIFA is not the lawmaker in Qatar.1” He did also agree that the circumstances in Qatar are undesirable but claimed that there can be no retraction of the location decision of the world cup. To add to this, FIFA is also under federal investigations due to the former VP, Jack Warner, supposedly accepting bribe money from a company that is associated to Qatar’s bid. The Telegraph claimed Jack was personally paid $1.2 million dollars five days prior to the decision. In addition, on March 25, 2014, a Reuters report claimed that FIFA contemplated halting an investigation into the alleged bribes that was being performed by an independent ethics committee for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. This makes FIFA’s practices seem un-doubtfully quite questionable. If the claims of the bribe are true, Jack Warner’s management style is quite immoral, and for an organization to have no concerns or to take no responsibility for the harm it is going to cause for a sports event makes their ethical grounds appear non-existent.

Response
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