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It was naive to think that we could change Qatar

It was naive to think that we could change Qatar

Time is running out for Qatar to deliver on its promises ahead of the 2022 World Cup, a new report from Amnesty International says. A previous review by Britain’s Guardian newspaper showed that up to 6,500 guest workers had died building arenas and other facilities ahead of the tournament.

Under pressure, the state promised to abolish “bail,” a system akin to slavery that puts people entirely in the hands of their employers and implements other reforms. But not much happened.

No one should be surprised by that. Qatar, like many other dictatorships that have hosted prestigious sports tournaments in recent decades, has mostly fallen behind on critical issues. They know it’s a successful strategy, not least because there are so many accomplices – corrupt and gullible – in the sports world.

Those who early Rode defending the Qatar Championship did so, among other things, arguing that it was an opportunity to influence the country. The same idea was raised before the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing that increased media coverage could provide an opportunity to highlight injustice and abuse.

On the surface, it appears to have yielded results. Qatar has ratified two international human rights conventions and made legislative amendments that enhance workers’ rights. But dictatorships would not have fought for the championship if they thought it would weaken their power. Therefore, not much happens when implementing laws. Violations continue, according to Amnesty, “on a large scale”, and many voices warn that the situation may get worse when everything is completed to host the World Cup next year.

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This is one of the basic problems. Tyrants know they have time on their side. The tournaments themselves are the kind of deadlines not everyone can miss.

So ten years ago, the argument about the World Cup in Qatar was that we could change the country. Now that we’ve failed, we all agree it’s too late to move the tournament elsewhere.

This, of course, is not true. If the will was there to see the truth with a white eye, Great Britain or the United States – or the combined forces of many countries – could have taken over the World Cup in a short time. But the will does not exist.

This, on the other hand There are chances of preventing this from happening again. Last winter, the International Hockey Federation moved the World Championships from Belarus. No non-democratic country is slated to host the Olympics or the World Cup in the next decade.

Despite rumors that both Egypt and Cameroon are interested in the latter. If this happens, the Swedish Football Association must have an immediate strategy in place, which can prevent the award from happening or ensure that it is linked to real commitments.

No one, like Qatar, should escape years of empty promises, and thousands of dead in the shadows of new arenas.