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SAPRAC Report on Qatar and The World Cup

The Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC) has published a nuanced report on Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022. The report has been published and quoted on several national and international outlets including the Huffington Post and World Post. 

 

SAPRAC Report

Terrorism is Hosting World Sports in 2022

How a Corrupted State is Sponsoring Terrorism and Sports at the same Time

Qatar is currently called “the most two-faced nation in the world, backing the U.S.-led coalition against the militants of the Islamic State while providing a permissive environment”. This quote among many from top U.S. officials comes in the wake of strong allegations and proof that the Qatari government is funding and hosting within its borders terrorist organizations. Several countries in the region, led by Saudi Arabia, have recently taken assertive action toward Qatar and severed its ties due to its evident support to terrorist groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Hamas.

Qatar has won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The scandalous bid came under investigation from U.S. FBI and Swiss Authorities for money laundering and racketeering, leading to the resignation of FIFA President Sepp Blatter. The tiny gulf country raised a multitude of suspicion regarding its corrupted influence in global sports, as it poured its wealth to position itself in the world of elite football. It is now an explicit fact that the money used in funding and enabling top terrorist groups around the world, is the same money used to buy European football teams and host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Given current events and facts, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee must conclude that Qatar has committed serious breach of FIFA ethics and rules and that its continued support and promotion for internationally recognized terrorist groups is against the Federation’s code of ethics, and all the nobility and integrity that the sport stands for. Below are some of the top reasons Qatar is an unfit candidate to host the FIFA World Cup.

Previous concerns raised during the bidding process that still stand valid:

  • Lack of proper infrastructure in the tiny gulf country
  • Excessive heat climate and dessert dry whether
  • Doubts from the international community regarding Qatar’s integrity and transparency during the bid for 2022 World Cup
  • Qatar being the least prepared compared to other candidates such as Australia, Japan, and the United States.
  • The generalized concern about Qatar’s disregard to human rights continuously being mentioned by human rights groups that report on Qatar’s “modern day slavery” of construction workers

Ethical crises that emerged during Qatar’s preparation for the event:

  • The indictment of Mohammed bin Hammam, former president of the Asian Football Federation and key player in 2022 World Cup bid, who was banned for life from anything related to football due to bribery allegations.
  • The continued scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice and Swiss authorities regarding Qatar’s corrupt influence on football’s most important organizations
  • The death of more than 1,200 oppressed construction workers while building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup. One human rights agency estimates more than 4,000 construction workers will die building World Cup-related infrastructure.

Impact of diplomatic ties being cut with surrounding states:

  • World cup organizers, officials, team members and fans will face travel difficulties and restrictions due to blockade of airspace from neighboring countries
  • Shipping supply and transfer of building materials used for stadiums and other projects has faltered due to land and sea port ban
  • The negative effect the boycott has had on Qatar’s economy in addition to the simultaneous increase of its international debt
  • Raising concerns from expats working in Qatar and from countries contributing to Qatar’s workforce due to blockade from the largest countries in the region
  • The 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup will also be affected by Gulf diplomatic crisis

International outrage and reaction to Qatar’s sponsorship of terrorism:

  • FIFA is in “regular contact” with the organizing committee of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after the current diplomatic crisis the gulf country is in
  • President of the German Federation: Major tournaments should not be held in countries that sponsor terrorism
  • German Football Association (DFB) President Reinhard Grindel said in a statement: “The football community worldwide should agree that major tournaments should not be played in countries that actively support terror.”
  • France and Belgium are demanding that FIFA withdraw the organizing committee immediately pending more proof that Qatar is funding and supporting terrorism
  • Deputy Speaker of the German Parliament: “How is the World Cup granted to a state that sponsors terrorism around the world?”

FIFA Code of Ethics Articles being violated by Qatar:

 

  • Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes states that: “FIFA is committed to respecting all internationally recognized human rights and shall strive to promote the protection of these rights.”
  • Article 24 of FIFA’s Code of Ethics states: “Persons bound by this Code shall respect the integrity of others involved. They shall ensure that the personal rights of every individual whom they contact and who is affected by their actions is protected, respected and safeguarded.”

It is evident that Qatar has deliberately abused FIFA’s Code of Ethics and has promoted violence and terrorism through its funding and leniency toward terrorist groups. Therefore, it is unfit to host the FIFA World Cup and to sponsor renowned football teams.

 

  • The Washington DC-based Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC)

 

Additional References and Sources: 

http://www.saprac.org/uploads/2/4/0/6/24062436/qatar_hosting_sports_under_the_banner_of_terrorism.pdf

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