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Accueil » Many voices were raised against the World Cup that took place in Qatar in 2022, but were some of them complicit?

Many voices were raised against the World Cup that took place in Qatar in 2022, but were some of them complicit?

Affiche boycott qatar

From the beginning of 2022 up until the World Cup itself, Western European countries were calling for a boycott of the world’s most watched sporting event. Indeed, Qatar has been much talked about regarding climate and human rights issues.

In the last decade, the Middle Eastern country built 8 stadiums with a capacity of 40,000 to 90,000 fans. In addition, extensive infrastructure has been built around these stadiums, such as luxury hotels and a rail network that runs subways. During the construction of these huge projects, we can count more than 6,800 deaths of migrant workers on site. It is no secret that Qatar is a country with high temperatures, which is why all these stadiums are air-conditioned.

According to Western European politicians – mainly from the left – and NGOs such as Amnesty, this is an aberration. Since the beginning of the year 2022, different Belgian and French cities had been calling for a boycott of the World Cup. Among them is the example of Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris. These different municipalities have announced that no match will be shown on a big screen in fan zones during the event.

It is clear that many of Qatar’s ways of doing things are questionable, both in ecological and human terms. However, we can only realize the hypocrisy of France and Belgium, who participated in these « aberrations ». Indeed, the company that built the entire railway complex is none other than QDVC, a Qatari subsidiary of the French construction company Vinci, accused and indicted for « modern slavery ». The company Six Construct was responsible for building the Al Janoub stadium, located south of the capital, Doha. Six Construct is, since 1966, the Middle Eastern subsidiary of the Belgian construction and engineering group BESIX. The group shared the project with Porr, an Austrian construction company. 

There were obvious reasons to take an ethical stance regarding this particular sporting event, but it is also important to acknowledge the hypocrisy of the European countries that were part of the problem.

Nicolas

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