Qatar World Cup approaches surrounded by controversy
2022 is going to completely paralyze the world of sports with the World Cup to be held in Qatar. This year it will be somewhat different as it will not be held in summer, as usual, but will be played between November and December. The reason for the change of date is since the venue of the event is Qatar, and the temperatures in the country in summer are so high that sporting events cannot be held there. This has been one of the causes that has generated controversy, but it has not been the only one.
In addition to the debate caused by the dates, conflict was also generated when FIFA announced the venue in 2010 because Qatar had never qualified for a World Cup. There was speculation about bribes to committee members, but after an investigation the case was dismissed. Another controversy arose with stadium workers. For several months there were several news reports announcing the death of several workers due to the long hours they were made to work. For this reason, several federations have complained, such as the Norwegian federation, which during the qualifying matches wore T-shirts with the slogan «Human rights on and off the pitch». The Danish federation announced that they would wear T-shirts with human rights messages during the World Cup.
It should also be noted that Qatar is a country where women’s rights, as well as those of the LGTBI collective, are quite backward. This has also created a dispute as there will be many fans who will consider whether to go to cheer for their national team in a country where they may not be entirely welcome.
The leagues have had to adapt their schedules
Squaring the leagues’ calendars with the month-long break is a challenge for the federations because most of the players are not going to play for their national teams. For these cases, Italy is working on creating a parallel tournament with the players who do not travel to the World Cup. In this way they would not lose competition rhythm. There is also a problem with this aspect for the national teams, as they will only have one week to concentrate their players. In the case of the Spanish league, only the first division will stop, and it will do so on November 13 (the World Cup starts on the 18th of the same month). In addition to stopping for more than a month, the LFP has had to modify the calendar of the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa, as they involve first division teams.
The players will have very few days to acclimatize to Qatar and will also have little time to train collectively. This has caused dissatisfaction in some federations as the players will arrive at the first matches without a good rest due to jetlag. The schedules of the matches have also been a drawback because in the group stage there are matches that are played at 22.00h, perhaps too late for a soccer match.
Soccer fans are disadvantaged by the time difference
But fans following the event from home will also have some trouble following the matches. The time difference between Spain and Qatar is several hours, which means that there will be matches played in the morning (some of them at 11 a.m.), and at that time most soccer fans are at work or in class. This makes it very difficult to follow the World Cup live.
Therefore, the next World Cup comes with some controversy, being perhaps the one that has brought more debate in recent years. Even so, FIFA fully supports the hosting and development of the event, claiming that Qatar is a developed country and capable of adequately organizing an event of this magnitude. Qatar and FIFA have had to deal with complaints from many national federations and from the public.