2022 World Cup takes place in Qatar

Hunter Rosenberg, Staff Writer

There has been a lot of concern from soccer fans around the world about the 2022 World Cup being held in Qatar. Qatar is a small country located in Western Asia on the Arabian Peninsula with a population of just over 2.9 million people, just under the total population of Mississippi. The country’s official religion is Arabic and they run under an absolute monarchy.

Concerns about the treatment of human rights came into the spotlight leading up to the World Cup. Qatar is known to have poor treatment towards immigrant workers and people part of the LGBTQ community. Immigrants in Qatar are treated horribly. 90% of the Qatar workforce is made up of immigrants, many of whom were a part of the staff who built the 8 stadiums used in the World Cup. They tend to get paid below livable wages and are forced to live in dirty and unsafe living conditions. These immigrants typically come from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Just like immigrants, LGBTQ people are treated horribly. In Qatar, they consider LGBTQ people to be “haram”, which means forbidden by Islamic law. Although Qatar agreed to accept the support from teams and fans of LGBTQ people upon agreeing to host the tournament, players from several different countries were not allowed to wear their captains arm band because it showed the rainbow flag. Spectators who showed up with clothes or flags with a rainbow on it were stopped at the gates. While trying to enter the stadium for the United States vs Wales game on Mon, Nov. 21, journalist Grant Wahl was denied entry and temporarily detained for wearing a shirt with a rainbow on it. Security asked him to take off the shirt but he was eventually let into the stadium with his pride shirt.

The group stage of the tournament kicked off with a game between the host country, who automatically qualified, and Ecuador on Nov 20. It ended in a 2-0 loss for Qatar, which is the first tie in World Cup history where the host country lost in their opening match. The next day, England faced Iran where England received a 6-2 victory. Then Senegal faced the Netherlands where Senegal lost 2-0. The second day ended in a game between the United States which ended in a 1-1 draw. The group stage ended December 2 with the final two games being between Serbia and Switzerland and Cameroon and Brazil. The final is scheduled to be on Dec. 18.

On another note, America’s return to the World Cup after a 2018 absence is thrilling to many soccer fans across the country. The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after their heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago. They have put in a lot of hard work to qualify and do well in the tournament and it has paid off because for the first time since 2002, the United States has made it out of the group stage and into the round of 16. They are set to face the Netherlands on Dec. 3, and U.S. soccer fans cannot wait to see it.

*This article was produced between the group stage and knockout rounds.