FIFA is GREAT… More like: FIFA Exploits Desperate Workers

Every four years, millions of individuals from around the world crowd around family living rooms, corporate conference rooms, bustling bars, and public venues to feast their eyes on the World Cup. This global event brings together the best soccer teams in the world to compete at the highest level in a tournament that crowns one country supreme. The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in 1904 and in based in Zurich, Switzerland. It is the global governing body of soccer, and its goal is to constantly improve soccer.

On the surface, FIFA seems like a great organization. After all, it hosts the largest tournament of the world’s most popular sport, and has a fun video game played by nearly every youth of our generation. Yet corruption and bribery scandals have plagued FIFA in past and in the present. Recently, FIFA was alleged to have taken bribes from a rich prince in Qatar in exchange for the 2022 World Cup being held in Qatar. In Paper 2, I do not want to explore these allegations. They do not particularly interest me.

What I want to investigate are the human rights violations that are currently occurring at labor camps in Qatar, as the small oil-rich company gears up to develop the necessary infrastructure, housing, and athletic facilities associated with hosting the World Cup.

Google Scholar assisted my research, and I discovered two interesting articles that explore the background of the human rights violations, and the ability of Qatar to act as a catalyst for labor reform. I contend that FIFA must initiate a more proactive solution to ensure that no FIFA-specific structures are built using workers at these labor camps. FIFA’s virtues ethics come into question in this case. Furthermore, FIFA should use this moment to stand-up to labor camps, and help Qatar’s government create a safer, healthier, and more worker-friendly environment.



7 responses to “FIFA is GREAT… More like: FIFA Exploits Desperate Workers

  1. I agree with you that by having the World Cup in Qatar, it give FIFA a huge opportunity to stand up against the labor camps. The world cup is huge all around the world, so this event will capture the attention of so many people.


  2. I think that FIFA is a very interesting organization to study! The World Cup has such international influence they could make a huge stance against labor violations if they chose to, but so far they have not. I also think FIFA and its violations would be interesting to look at in a way similar to Mike Daisey and Foxconn where some (probably FIFA) may argue that they are doing good by providing jobs and work to people in this region of the world.


  3. You may also want to look into what the spaces were before they were built into housing and stadiums for the World Cup. I know that in the past both FIFA and the Olympics displaced many local people in order to house everyone visiting for the events. The governments took advantage of the poor people who lived in already horrible conditions and built whatever was needed for the events. Will this be an issue in Qatar as well?


    • Nearly all of the laborers working in Qatar and neighboring countries are from other countries (India, Burma, etc.). The exploitation of these workers began when long ago when Dubai and other wealthy areas started serious development. FIFA is in a unique position to put a halt to this labor abuse and demand better conditions for the thousands of workers currently working in the Middle East. Honestly, aside from this poor foreigners who are working as laborers, there are not many poor people living in places like Qatar and Dubai. Oil has made many people there wildly wealthy.


  4. I think FIFA is a great topic for paper 2. Many people overlook things when it comes to the World Cup because they are too focused on the excitement of the games. Many Brazilians were upset with the way things were handled/set up for the most recent World Cup and this is not something new. The countries who host this event are not always ethical and it would be interesting to explore this topic even more. Qatar is another country that could experience this and I think you could find more information about it. Do you think the US will host a World Cup in the near future?


    • I think the US would be a great place for the World Cup to be held. The US already has the necessary infrastructure to host an event like the World Cup. I would love to watch a World Cup match in my own country!


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