Why The Qatar World Cup 2022 Is Attracting Backlash Already

FIFA members voted for the country in thev Middle East to host this year’s tournament back in 2010, but in the last few weeks, there’s been a flurry of headlines around calls for people to boycott the occasion, which is held once every four years.

The World Cup will begin Nov. 20. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the matches’ start.

LBGTQ+ rights

Homosexuality is illegal in the country, and could lead to punishments of up to seven years behind bars.

Qatar criminalizes all LGBT people and any sexual activity between members of the same sex.

The country uses an interpretation of Sharia law (a legal system stemming from Islam’s holy book the Quran) as a source for this criminalization.

It also suggests sexual activity between men could result in the death penalty.

Migrant workers’ rights

Migrant workers make up 95% of the country’s total workforce, according to the Human Rights Watch website, but many are subject to wage abuses. 

The worker’s legal status is linked to a specific employer, too. This means leaving an employer without their permission is considered a crime, and many of their employee rights, including the right to strike, are banned.

TIME magazine also reported last week that thousands of migrant workers died during the construction work for the World Cup’s stadiums, due to the extreme heat.

Women’s rights

Women must receive permission from their male guardians to marry, study or travel abroad, work for the government and receive some reproductive health care. There are bans against Qatari women at some events, and bars which serve alcohol. She can even lose her husband’s financial backing if she refuses to have sex with him, without a “legitimate” reason.

Extra-marital sex is criminalized as well, but women often bear the punishment especially if they become pregnant.

This is punishable via flogging and up to seven years in jail. Rape victims can be prosecuted too if the suspect claims it was consensual.

Huffington Post, Reuters