The upcoming World Cup is considered as the grandest sporting event so far. Even the most casual of Singaporean fans would agree how exciting this year’s World Cup would be, however, this season is suffering from controversies and challenges since Qatar was announced as the host country.
If you are planning to attend the 2022 Qatar Games, there are some things that you need to know first before you make a decision of booking a visit. There are many reasons why the World Cup this year could be problematic and we will tackle these concerns one by one.
Since the announcement of Qatar as the new host nation in 2010, it has raised a lot of concerns among the football community around the world. Despite never having significant presence in the World Cup, fans from Singapore are among the many that
A few of these issues involve the lack of football history and sporting infrastructures in the country to entertain a huge sporting event such as the FIFA world cup.
Human rights concerns
There were also reports that more than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Bangladesh, and Kenya have died while building the stadiums and other facilities for the World Cup, while others are in danger of being abused. There were also reports that the construction workers are given low compensations despite having worked long hours and are experiencing mistreatment.
A lot of human rights watchers around the world protested against the government of Qatar changing their policies to ensure the safety of the migrant workers.
When Qatar was announced as the new host country for the World Cup, many critics said that the bidding process was manipulated.
There were reports detailing the allegations that the former vice president of FIFA received around 2.8 million Singaporean dollars from AFC to give the hosting privileges to Qatar.
Concerns regarding homophobia
Countries in the Middle East such as Qatar are known to enforce Shariah Law which punishes homosexuality with the death penalty. Much like Qatar, Singapore has kept the British Empire law that prohibits sodomy. Furthermore, several LGBT groups raised concerns about the safety of queer players and supporters in the FIFA World Cup.
However, despite all of these concerns, the organizers of the event and the government of Qatar ensured that the event will welcome the LGBT community in the country.
Severe summer temperatures
The summer heat would be a huge problem in the event because the country is known for having a rise in temperature during that time of the year. In fact, there were worries that the health of the players and supporters could be compromised during the event.
As a result, the Club World Cup, a preliminary tournament before the World Cup, was canceled last year because of the summer heat issues.
While many Singaporean fans are no stranger to such extreme temperatures, the summer heat could be a problem for the players and fans but the staff behind the event ensured that it wouldn’t be a problem because the venues are air conditioned.
Tensions in the Arab region
One of the concerns in the Qatar Games is the growing tension in the Arab world that ceases to stop ever since Iran Major General Qasem Soleimani was killed in Iraq by a US drone strike.
Regarding the tension, some European clubs and the US national team scrapped the idea of building a training camp in Qatar.
Aside from the concerns and issues mentioned above, there is still one challenge that is still happening in the present that can also make a huge impact on the upcoming World Cup, and that is the Covid-19 pandemic. While many Singapore locals aren’t completely free from wearing masks and social distancing, we can expect that we are all slowly returning back to the norm somehow.
Some health experts expressed their concern that huge sporting events like the Qatar Games could be a perfect source of Covid-19 outbreaks because of the disregard of the fans for the social distancing and health safety measures.
In the end, despite having a lot of reasons to not attend the Worldcup22, there were still plenty of reasons why Singapore fans should go. For two years, we have been denied with festive events like this due to the pandemic and the Qatar Games is a perfect place to celebrate the renewal of sporting spirit.