On the surface, it’s just another white collar crime story: rich – powerful men making themselves richer and more powerful. But a closer look suggests that there is a lot of real-world suffering and misery happening as a direct result of FIFA executive malfeasance.
For the most obvious example of this, look to Qatar. The decision to award the 2022 World Cup to the rich Gulf state with a terrible human rights record was a controversial one right out of the gate. There have been extensive allegations of bribery: why else – some figured – award the Cup to a tiny country with sweltering summer heat and no soccer culture to speak of?
Human rights advocates’ worst fears about Qatar seemed to be confirmed as Qatar began building the infrastructure to host the Cup, and reports of migrant worker deaths started to pile up.
The numbers, to the extent that we know them, are startling: A Guardian investigation last year revealed that Nepalese migrant workers were dying at a rate of one every two days. In sum, the Guardian put the total Qatar World Cup death toll at 964 in 2012 and 2013.(cont..)