Why are countries protesting the 2022 Qatar World Cup?


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By: Sam Donsig


Despite the 2022 Qatar World Cup being a year away, it has already been met with some controversy. With countries like Norway, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands all joining together to protest.


The teams have been wearing white t-shirts with the phrase “Human Rights On and off the pitch” during warmups. As pictured above is Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland wearing a t-shirt to show his support.


The world of football started to speak up about human rights issues after The Guardian reported over 6,500 migrant workers have died over the last decade. Since the country won its bid to host the 2022 World Cup in December of 2010, migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died while working on the stadiums and different office buildings for the upcoming national event.


Two million migrant workers have been employed and given jobs to build the different office buildings, stadiums and infrastructure for the upcoming 2022 Qatar World Cup. The migrant workers were hoping for stable, well-paying jobs.


Instead, migrant workers were hit with poor wages and wage abuses that drove them into personal debt, which led to them being stuck in the job and unable to leave.


During the building of the stadium and other office buildings, many of the workers were given poor working conditions. Which included having to work through the scorching heat of Qatar. This led to hundreds of migrant workers dying of heat stress.


The Guardian reported that 22 per cent of the deaths reported on a yearly basis found that the worker’s deaths were caused by heart attacks, cardiac arrest or other cardio-related causes.

There have been several instances similar to the protest in Qatar, where athletes and teams have protested human rights. Such as in August of 2016, at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics during the marathon event. Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms above his head in protest of the treatment of his Oromo people by his country’s government.


After the incident, Lilesa was exiled. However, the then-current president in 2018, Abiy Ahmed who is of Oromo descent welcomed Lilesa with open arms back into the country.


Despite all the information that has come to light, Qatar is still the host country for the 2022 World Cup.