No World Cup 2022 at GALA
Why we won’t cover Qatar
Is it possible to hide the criticism of the upcoming World Cup? We find: no. Therefore, we as the editorial team have decided not to report on the current World Cup.
At least since the Women’s World Cup we are all football fans! What an incredibly positive sign of equality. But we at GALA will not be reporting on the World Cup that is about to start in Qatar. Not because we don’t appreciate the athletes and their team achievements. But because we want to set an example. A sign of humanity, equality, fairness. What a sporting event should actually stand for.
But the venue of this World Cup is taking place in a country that disregards all of these values. There has been criticism since the announcement of the World Cup venue in Qatar – starting with the construction of the stadiums. Thousands of workers have died on the construction sites for this soccer World Cup. The exact number of fatalities has not yet been determined. According to official statistics from Qatar, more than 15,000 non-Qatar workers have died since the 2010 World Cup was awarded. However, the country does not make public what caused them to die.
In a petition in May 2022, Amnesty Germany made demands directly to Qatar’s Minister of Labor, Ali bin Samikh Al Marri, and the President of the World Football Association, FIFA, Gianni Infantino, for financial compensation for human rights violations. So far this has been refused.
Homosexuality is a criminal offense in Qatar. People who are in love with someone of the same sex face up to five years in prison. Women in Qatar do not have the same rights as men. There is a system of guardianship, which only men can hold. This means that women must obtain permission for almost all everyday activities. Without it, they will not be allowed to marry, travel, study, and will never have guardianship over their own children. In order to be awarded the World Cup, Qatar had to provide sporting support for women and girls. A women’s soccer team was founded, and a few weeks later Qatar was officially accepted for the World Cup. To this day, the women’s team is not included in the FIFA world rankings. The funding collapsed a few years later.
These are just a few of the criticisms that are currently being discussed around the world. And all these points do not correspond to the values that we stand for as an editor and as people.
Perhaps public protest will help so that everyone in Qatar can live freely. Until then, we as GALA will continue to report on courageous citizens, actions and abuses.
Your GALA editorial team