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“15,000 deaths for 5,760 minutes of football”: What is #BoycottQatar2022 and why is it a trend every day?

“15,000 deaths for 5,760 minutes of football”: What is #BoycottQatar2022 and why is it a trend every day?

“15,000 deaths for 5,760 minutes of football”: What is #BoycottQatar2022 and why is it a trend every day?

Qatar 2022 does not escape controversy. She won’t even be able to escape. This World Cup, so questioned —justifiably—, continues to be one of the main topics of discussion on the world agenda, and much more so now that we are already at the gates of the event. Each one has taken his position based on all the information that circulates and there are many who agree that this tournament should never have taken place.

This whole story began in 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland, when Joseph Blatter—against all odds—loudly called out the name of Qatar as the venue for the 2022 World Cup. The United States was the great favorite to win that vote, but the unexpected happened. And suspicions of an alleged vote-buying inevitably grew.

At the time, the choice of the Middle Eastern country was justified under the idea of ​​the “continental rotation” of the World Cup. However, the truth is that FIFA opted for the famous Qatari petrodollars, which were worth much more than anything.

In fact, based on numerous investigations, in the following years bribery, fraud, money laundering in FIFA – in short, corruption – were discovered, which stained the choice of Qatar as the organizer of the event. The so-called ‘FIFAGate’ case brought down everyone, or at least almost everyone involved, at the time. Nothing could hide the obvious anymore.

Even so, the organization of the 2022 World Cup continued its course amid controversy and widespread outrage. More dirty laundry came to light as time went by. And today many speak out against the sporting event in various ways.

The context of the move

Corruption, fraud, bribery… went to the background. During all these years, much more unfortunate things have happened, which have had to do with various human rights violations.

For the organization of Qatar 2022, there have been numerous scandals that cannot go unnoticed, such as the deaths of immigrant workers during the construction of the infrastructure for the event. That, in principle, is what generates the most outrage.

The modern stadiums that will host the World Cup matches, as wonderful and technological as they look, were built in the midst of inhumane conditions, low wages, exploitation, abuse and threats, which have been denounced more than once, through international media, human rights organizations and trade union organizations.

The construction of stadiums for Qatar 2022 has been a highly controversial issue due to the deaths involved |  Photo: FIFA

For the most part, migrants from other Asian and African countries were the cheap labor to bring these colossal venues to fruition for the football event. But for many this work cost their lives.

In fact, in a report by the human rights organization Amnesty International, the official number of 15,021 deaths of non-Qatari people between 2010 and 2019. “But the data on the causes of deaths are not reliable, due to the lack of investigations”assures.

Meanwhile, another of the figures that are handled in this regard is 6,500 deaths of immigrant workers in Qatar since the election of this country as the headquarters (2010) until 2020, according to an article in the British media The Guardian published at the beginning of 2021. “The total number of deaths is significantly higher, as these figures do not include deaths from several countries that send large numbers of workers to Qatar, including the Philippines and Kenya.”points to the note.

Meanwhile, FIFA recently only recognized the death of three workers during the construction of the stadiums, denying the figures that have bounced in various media. Another 37 deaths were also reported, but the Qatar 2022 Organizing Committee assured that these did not occur at the construction sites. and that they were recorded as non-work related deaths.

The investigations, then, must continue. The “natural causes of death” —certified in this way in 70% of the deaths of immigrant workers according to The Guardian— must be investigated, verified and explained more reliably, ruling out any type of pressure or threat to Qatari doctors in this regard.

In any case, whatever the true and exact figure between 2010 and now, the outrage towards Qatar 2022 is already collective. Because beyond the deaths… the abuses, exploitation and threats to workers is not a fact that can be hidden or denied.

What is #BoycottQatar2022 and why was it born?

In all this context, the hashtag was born , which continues to be a trend daily. Different users and media promote the boycott of the World Cup on social networks with various complaints and protests about this infamous situation in the organization of the football event. And, among other critical points, the intolerance and discrimination that reigns in the Middle East with LGBTQ+ people and the restriction of women’s rights are also part of the questions.

The German website that started all this movement explained that the reasons for their complaint are due to the fact that Qatar 2022 “It is an unworthy football tournament. So many rules of sports and political equity are violated that we find it irresponsible to participate in this event, whether as an active athlete, official or simply as a viewer. That is why we believe it is important for football fans to protest against the Qatar tournament and against FIFA’s policies. Support our #BoycottQatar2022 initiative through your own discussions, actions, events and last but not least, support our appeal..

From the football environment, many have joined this detracting side of Qatar 2022 in their own way. Jürgen Klopp, for example, charged against the organization of the event a few days ago and denounced that nothing has been done to prevent the disaster of this World Cup.

“They have made people work to build stadiums in 50 degree temperatures. That’s impossible. But no one thought of the workers. There have been many opportunities to report it. But a lot of people have made money for the wrong reasons. You journalists didn’t write anything like that. We are all guilty now”lamented the Liverpool coach.

The Danish team, for its part, has also spoken out against this event with an important gesture: its players will wear a black mourning kit to honor all the migrant workers who died in the Qatar World Cup construction sites.

Likewise, it is important to mention that in the stadiums of Germany the fans of various clubs have demonstrated with banners and flags with the slogan #BoycottQatar2022, thus sending an important message against this World Cup.

“15,000 deaths for 5,760 minutes of football. What a shame”, was read a couple of weeks ago on one of the giant flags at the Olympiastadion, where Hertha hosted Bayern Munich. Similar messages were replicated in other German stadiums that day and even in other countries like France.

Be that as it may, with everything that has accumulated against the Qatari event, the current FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, always maintained his support for the development of this World Cup that, without a doubt, will be marked as one of the most controversial in history.

Source: Elcomercio

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