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Qatar FIFA World Cup, Essay Example

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Essay

The only sporting event that rivals the Olympics is FIFA World Cup, held every four years. Thus, it is no surprise that countries bid aggressively against each other to host FIFA World Cup because hosting the event allows them to demonstrate their economic and cultural prowess and also increases their profile and stature on the global stage. When Qatar was awarded the rights to host the 2022 World Cup, it was perceived as a historic moment because it is the first time a country in the Middle East will be home to such a high profile sports event. Hosting FIFA World Cup is a great honor for any country and it comes with certain obligations and high expectations. The recent news of hundreds of deaths among construction workers highlights the fact that Qatar has failed to fulfill the responsibilities that come with hosting a global event like FIFA World Cup, thus, the country should be stripped of the right to host the World Cup.

Mega sports events like FIFA World Cup also represent the collective progress mankind has made on social and cultural issues, thus, it is not a surprise that the deaths of construction workers has sparked a global outrage. If this had happened few hundred years ago, no soul would have been bothered by the news because different socioeconomic groups had different rights. But we have come a long way in terms of basic human rights. If organizations like FIFA choose to ignore ethical aspects in pursuit of economic interests, it sets a wrong precedent for other commercial organizations of all types. Today, organizations of all types are expected to fulfill their ethical obligations because the definition of stakeholders is much broader now.

If Qatar is allowed to keep the hosting right, it would set a wrong precedent for future hosts. By allowing Qatar to keep its right, FIFA will send the message that hosting countries can afford to ignore their ethical obligations as long as they are not exposed. And even if they are exposed, the damage could be contained with little or no consequences. FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s recent remark that there is plenty of time to deal with the issue (Gibson) only hurt’s FIFA’s ethical credentials. Stripping Qatar of hosting rights will send a strong message to future hosts that they cannot afford to ignore their social and ethical responsibilities because hosting right is not inalienable and if the situation warrants, FIFA will not hesitate from considering even the most extreme steps.

Qatar has been given the right to host World Cup in 2022 which still leaves us with nine years. Thus, FIFA cannot even hide behind the excuse of lack of time because many countries who bid against Qatar have the economical and technological prowess to complete preparations even if they are given the hosting right today. FIFA holds tremendous influence as a governing body of the most popular sport on the planet and it should display the courage to stand up to its obligations. Sports are meant to unite people and the current global sentiments against Qatar hosting the World Cup will only promote negative goodwill towards the event.

FIFA had responsibility to monitor preparations for the World Cup in Qatar and it failed so early. If the media didn’t highlight the issue, FIFA might never have taken notice. Thus, the right thing for FIFA is to make up for its failure because there is much more at stake than its economic interests or its ties with the Qatari Government. It’s still not late and FIFA may even enhance its reputation if it strips Qatar of the hosting right.

Work Cited

Gibson, Owen. World Cup 2022: football cannot ignore Qatar worker deaths, says Sepp Blatter. 4 October 2013. 7 October 2013 <http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/oct/04/world-cup-2022-fifa-sepp-blatter-qatar-worker-deaths?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487>.

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