FIFA corruption is the least of it: here’s the real reason for cancelling the Qatar World Cup

June 1, 2015 at 7:26 pm (corruption, Human rights, Middle East, murder, posted by JD, profiteers, Slavery, workers)

This Chart Shows the Staggering Human Cost of Staging a World Cup in Qatar

The US Department of Justice has  dropped the hammer on FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, indicting nine senior FIFA officials and five sports marketing execs on charges of corruption, wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering.

Allegations of bribery have long plagued FIFA, especially since its controversial decision to grant Qatar the 2022 World Cup. But much worse is the plight of South Asian migrant workers brought in to build the stadium infrastructure there: Since 2010, more than 1,200 migrant workers have died in Qatar under hazardous working conditions, and a 2013 Guardian investigation found that at least 4,000 total are projected to die before the 2022 World Cup even starts. And as we reported yesterday, Nepali workers weren’t even allowed to return home after the country’s recent devastating earthquake.

Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post put that toll in perspective in a striking infographic. He compared the number of workers who died in the run-up to several Olympics and World Cups with the number of those who have died in Qatar so far. It’s horrifying:

Christopher Ingraham/Washington Post 


  1. Steven Johnston said,

    RIP every one of those workers that died. Truly shocking and I hope with all the billions that FIFA and this cup generate go into compensating the ones left behind. What a sick world we live in when people die in the name of entertainment. No doubt if we speak up against this we will be racists. Even China, where they don’t give a flying **** about workers rights, ‘only’ had 6 deaths.

    • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

      Well said Steven. What is happening in Qatar is exactly what happened in 19 cen Britain. Who would have thought the so called modern world would have allowed this slaughter of the poor who hoped to have a life and future while the FIFA pariahs live it up in luxury without care or concience.

  2. Political Tourist said,

    What’s racist about asking about workers dying?

    • Steven Johnston said,

      Because we’d be impying that Islamic capitalism does not give a flying you know what about workers safety. You are not allowed to do that anymore.
      I think this is the reason why Qatar should never have been given the World cup, they just don’t respect workers rights there.

  3. Paul Canning (@pauloCanning) said,

    What are you talking about comrade. Vladimir Vladimirovich explained that it’s all about geopolitics and a conspiracy against the mother country.

  4. Paul Canning (@pauloCanning) said,

    • Steven Johnston said,

      Power to the people! What democracy is the talking about? LOL, I must have missed that election.
      Comrade Blatter eh and his struggle with the toiling masses.
      But seriously, this article is satire, surely?

    • februarycallendar said,

      Not clicking on that (the only thing to do to clickbait, whether it’s on Mail Online or Socialist Unity, is not to click on it) but the defence of Blatter & FIFA from elements of the British Left amounts to “other countries right or wrong” (which is no more progressive than “my country right or wrong”, in the end), a shockingly patronising belief that the corruption of capitalism outside the Anglosphere doesn’t really matter, isn’t their business, and an outrageous supposition that Blatter represents some kind of antidote to Murdoch rather than a different power bloc’s version of the same thing (it also, often, implicitly denies the fact that the structure of English football pre-Sky wasn’t “the people’s game” but sheer small-town feudalism, every bit as unrepresentative, and accuses those of us who say that the tyranny of the aldermen deserved to die of being crypto-Murdochian, even if we make it quite clear that we wish it had been replaced with something quite different, as briefly looked possible for a short while after Hillsborough).

      To some extent turf war is a factor here, but the *pleasure* some Leftists have taken in the past over FIFA’s activities – they’re getting one over on the neoliberal English, ha ha ha – has, out of sheer desperation, mistaken another geopolitical tribe’s corruption for social democracy and equality. Not the only time they’ve done that of course. I know what I’m speaking of here because, if this were 2008 or earlier, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I’d still have been defending Blatter now.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        The left still hate Hitler though, don’t they?
        I mean if he was alive today, they would not, as the Clash song goes
        “If Adolf Hilter flew in today…they’d send the limousine right away”
        I mean, they embrace people who say that Hitler was great but they would draw the line at singing his praises.

      • Paul Canning (@pauloCanning) said,

        What I noticed in the SU article, and is common through those left pro-Blatter reactions, is the absence of African opinion.

        There is a Storify, which I now can’t find, of African Twitter reaction and it was very varied. Some repeated the conspiracy line, most did not. See the South African reaction for how at least those I’ve seen feel about corruption – that is, much the same as most Westerners might feel if we had to deal with the ANC.

        There really exists a left version of imperialism and ‘we know best’ and seeking out a ‘third world’ voice that backs you up. Here, these folks didn’t even bother with that last task.

        [Thanks for intro to “the tyranny of the aldermen”. Had not heard that before.]

  5. februarycallendar said,


    I don’t think anyone has used that phrase except me. In fact, I personally had never used it before last night.

    There is, as you say, a definite whiff of “great white healers” to certain Leftists of the Socialist Unity sort. Not all by any means, but some.

  6. Rilke said,

    Football and its associated ‘industries’ is now a larger international profit making business than ship building. Countries and governments have waged wars to protect and maintain economic interests of a much lesser scale. This is merely the index of a strategic shift in economic and resource profit priorities. The forces and priorties though, remain the same: profit, control and strategic gains. Football is now integral to the adapted and expanded form of imperialism we now live under. Previously we saw a scramble for Africa that was really a scramble for copper, markets, ivory, slaves and gold now we see a scramble for viewing and distribution rights, exclusive marketing franchises, hosting and stadium ‘opportunities’. Football is for clods, useful idiots and parasites and always will be.

  7. februarycallendar said,

    Rather strange piece by Barney Ronay in the Graun which rather embodies that paper’s curious cringing towards the sort of naked capitalism in Asia which it would (rightly) abhor in the West.

  8. Rilke said,

    Most footballers are drunks, cretins and perverts. The game itself is run on cynicism, exploitation, corruption and sexism. The fans are morons and the famed stadium atmosphere is collective idiocy. Politicians and leftists who justify this filth are simply running a line for an industry that is now just as explotative, manipulated and disgusting as chimney sweeping was in the Victorian era. Any person who says otherwise is a liar. I know this from personal experience and direct observation. I used to live on Easter Road and the sectarianism and the game day causal racism, sexism and violent antics were appalling. The Scottish politicians of every stripe simpy denied it was real, but I saw it every second week. I went to a Leeds United game when I was twelve and the racism and crowd inspired hysterical thuggery was amazing. The coppers let it happen and local gobshite politicians put it down to a ‘few nutcases’, this was simple lying. Whole swathes of the crowds were at it. I was once caught-up in a London underground station full of Chelsea fans in the 80’s and they acted like a horde of vermin. In a packed pub in Liverpool in the 90’s I had to listen to Everton fans telling me how Liverpool fans were subhuman. Every supported says that this kind of behaviour is always the fault of the other team’s supporters, again, this is lies. This behaviour is simpy the social index of the degradation of the football industry itself. Justifying the enjoyment of football as a stadium sport is similar now to justifying the enjoyment of brothels and the activities of pimps. Any person who says otherwise bears watching.

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