The Kicker Behind the Ball


The FIFA World Cup is one of, if not the largest, soccer events in the world. Every year, millions to billions of people, gather around the world to celebrate the sport, as well as their favorite teams. This year, the games are being played in the country of  Qatar. This will be the first time the games are held in the Middle East, meaning lots of preparation came after the announcement in 2010.

In preparation, hotels, stadiums and highways had to be built to hold the expected 1.2 million people, according to Bloomberg, who traveled to see the games in person. According to Forbes, it’s estimated that Qatar has spent 220 billion dollars to prepare the necessary buildings, 15 times the cost of the Games in Russia in 2018. However, these games are making people question the sustainability of the location. 

Bloomberg did an investigation in Feb. 2021, which found that more than six and a half thousand migrant workers have died in Qatar since 2010, and while not all are related to the building, a large number of them can be accredited to the games being held in Qatar. This is because the need for multiple new buildings attracted more workers.

One worker, Mohammed Shahid Miah, died after being electrocuted when floodwaters rushed into his home. He paid three and a half thousand sterling to secure his position, which is a hefty amount for a family in Bangladesh. Now that he’s gone, the debt has been passed down to his family, who do not know what to do about it. They have yet to receive any sort of compensation from the Qatar government or Miah’s employer. 

Not only that, but Qatar is reported to get up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, which can cause heat stroke and dehydration and generally difficult working conditions.

“It was a bad choice. And I was responsible for that as president at the time,” said former FIFA Administrator Sepp Blatter, according to an NPR article. His term ended in 2015 amid a bribery scandal.