First Hand Account of the World Cup

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(Photo Source:

Ben Drescher, Writer

When it was decided in 2010 that Qatar would be the location of the 2022 World Cup, the controversy was already brewing regarding the decision. Allegations of corruption and bribery were made immediately after Qatar’s winning bid. FIFA officials were thought to have been bribed by the country of Qatar, so already there’s a bit of scandal embedded in the 2022 World Cup.

Many people have bashed Qatar for the slip-ups and mistakes they have made in handling hosting the World Cup. However, there are two sides to every story, and some people who have attended this World Cup have something different to say about how controversial the location actually is. So that begs the question: What is going on in Qatar? Has this country been humane in its handling of this event?

Has this been a good location for the World Cup? To get more insight into this event, I got to interview soccer fan Dan Rogers, who has attended five matches World Cup matches thus far. He’s rooting for England in the World Cup, and he played Football growing up, so he’s got a good background with regard to this sport.

The Alcohol Ban

One of the pros of the World Cup being held in Qatar is their ban of alcohol, and how that has helped in making the event peaceful and wholesome. Alcohol can obviously result in people getting rowdy, which can lead to excessive rioting and fighting that stems from a lack of good judgment. In interviewing Dan, he mentioned that he saw “no arrests or confrontations” in his trip so far, which is one positive aspect of this particular location. Dan said there was also “no drunken thug element” to the general scenery of this World Cup, which he attributed to the alcohol ban. In typical World Cup settings, violence and rioting can break out from excessive indulgence in alcohol. So, one good thing that came out of Qatar being the location for the World Cup is the absence of that violence.

The Temperatures

Qatar is an extremely warm country, with typical summer temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit on most days. Originally when the country was set to take the stage after it had won the bid for the Cup, the tournament was to be played in the summer, which would’ve been way too warm for players, fans and coaches. As a result of this, the Cup got moved back a few months to November and December, when the temperatures would be more bearable. Even though it is cooler in these months, Qatar is still a hot country, which made this event a little uncomfortable for people like Dan Rogers. He stated that the temperatures were “low 30s in celsius” (which would be around 90 degrees in Fahrenheit) and that shade and tap water weren’t really available, so that made traveling a bit uncomfortable. One could come to the conclusion that Qatar wasn’t the most amazing atmosphere for this sporting event, seeing as the temperatures were high and they didn’t do anything to make it more comfortable for visitors.

The Human Rights Controversy

One of the big deals regarding the morals of Qatar in the World Cup is the migrant worker issue. Many migrant workers flooding in from countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, and India came to Qatar for work since they couldn’t get it in their own country. For the past decade, these workers have went through injury and death to get the stadiums ready for the Cup. Their work is tough, their wages are low, and their lives are at risk all the time. It is estimated by The Guardian that 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar while working to get the World Cup ready. Dan had this to say about what he witnessed regarding the migrant workers in Qatar: “[The migrant worker issue] was swept under the carpet, as far as I could see. Lots of migrant workers on Fridays. One guy said the pace of the building work was eye-watering.”

In general, it seems as though the workers were rushed and not treated fairly throughout their years of working in the country. With a huge event like the World Cup occurring, it can be very easy to not notice the pain that workers would go through, just because it’s the biggest sporting event in the world and you wouldn’t pay attention to the people working to make it happen.

Dan’s Final Concluding Thoughts

One interesting thing that Dan said about this particular World Cup experience is that the atmosphere had a “peace family vibe” to it. He had a really enjoyable experience, and he stated that it was “relaxed” and “very multicultural”. 

However, when being asked if he thought Qatar was a good location for the World Cup, he answered it blatantly: “No. It is ridiculous that this was even entertained. It is desert. Grass does not grow.”

Overall, Dan’s account of his experience makes the World Cup in Qatar seem a little less dangerous and tense than it really is. The “family vibe” that he describes paints a more relaxed image of the atmosphere at the World Cup, but knowing about the migrant worker controversy makes me view this whole situation differently. My takeaway from Dan is this: It’s a nice and wholesome atmosphere at the World Cup, but underneath all of that, there are still important problems that are swept under the rug.