I spent most of my childhood in Brazil, a nation that breathes and lives futebol, so of course it was here that I first appreciated the beauty of the game and the bitterness of its darker aspects.
With so much money involved in futebol, corruption permeates all aspects of the sport.
The biggest and most popular sporting event in the world, the World Cup, was held in Qatar because of bribes. This is a country that lacks the love of the game, lacks the infrastructure for such an event, but has buckets of oil cash. Tom Blow’s Irish Mirror article ‘Absolute Shame’ – Jamie Carragher Lets It Rip …” and Tariq Panja and Kevin Draper “US Says FIFA Officials Bribed to Award World Cups to Russia, Qatar” New York Times article discusses the extreme implications of this decision .
The World Cup is the biggest futebol event that has been held since 1930. takes place every four years. It brings people from all over the world to one country where futebol and different cultures are celebrated. Unfortunately, this time we saw the World Cup in Qatar, a country that has never been recognized for its futebol. Its population and size are smaller than most US states, so most of the world knew something terrible was going on when Qatar was chosen in 2010. the host of the world championship. It is widely known that FIFA officials are very corrupt, but we have never had proof. . Now we know for sure that those officials who voted for Qatar were bribed.
The New York Times’ Tariq Panja and Kevin Draper explain how the US Department of Justice got involved in the FIFA Qatar corruption case. In their article, they show a copy of an official DOJ document that states that “US prosecutors on Monday clearly disclosed information about money paid to five members of FIFA’s top board prior to the 2010 voting on the choice of Russia and Qatar as hosts.
Most of these officials have now been removed from their positions, but it is too late.
Qatar is really small and doesn’t have the infrastructure for the kind of tourism that the World Cup attracts, making it the most expensive World Cup ever at a cost of $220 billion. It cost more than the last ten World Cups combined!
Many of the stadiums used in the World Cup had to be built from scratch by migrant workers looking for work. These workers endured the worst working conditions, as Tom Blow noted: “At least 6,500 migrant workers are believed to have died as Qatar began building infrastructure for the tournament, although organizers have denied this.
Are we shocked that in a country with serious human rights problems, migrant workers suffer? Imagine the worker’s relatives back home not knowing whether they are alive or not because they don’t even have the decency to acknowledge the worker’s death. I am an immigrant, so I have some understanding of how badly these countries can treat us. However, the treatment of these migrant workers in Qatar was inhumane. The sad thing is that now that these stadiums have been used for several World Cup matches, most of them will be destroyed because the cost of maintaining them is too high. What are all those lives lost for? Several games.
This world championship had a negative impact on the athletes. Because Qatar is mostly a desert, they had to move the World Cup to the winter because the average summer temperature in Qatar is 90° F. The World Cup is usually played in June and July, which is the best time. time for the players, as the regular futebol season ended in May, giving them time to rest and recover from injuries.
This World Cup was played in the winter, in the middle of the futebol season, so the season was overcrowded and games were made up almost every three days while the World Cup was held in Qatar. Speaking from experience, playing every three days is a nightmare: your body doesn’t have enough time to rest and recover, so you can get injured easily. In his article in the Irish Mirror, Tom Blow observed: “It’s taking the situation to the point where it’s the season and players who have dreamed of playing in the World Cup all their lives won’t be playing.”
Americans may not realize how deeply rooted futebol is in some people’s lives. But I remember when I was a kid, Ivory Coast qualified for their first World Cup in 2010. At the time, the nation was embroiled in a deep civil war, but the national team players asked the country to stop fighting and come together as one, at least until the end of the World Cup. And, would you believe it, the civil war was stopped until the end of the World Cup.
So when players grow up with dreams and work hard every day until they become professionals, only to have their dreams cut short by a minor injury, it’s really sad. The World Cup should be the pinnacle of the country’s futebol showdown, but how can that happen when so many superstars stay at home to cheer for their side instead of supporting them? After the World Cup, the players only had a week off before the club resumed futebol. It’s just a week off after a grueling tournament; people sometimes forget that athletes are still people, not machines that can play every week of the year.
With all that said, this World Cup was truly one of the most exciting and memorable tournaments in recent memory, with plenty of surprise results and inspiring performances from underdogs and established powers alike. It was a joy to watch Morocco make history as the first African nation to reach the semi-finals, while South Korea and Japan put on fairytale runs that captured the hearts of fans around the world. I even got to see my hero and idol truly carry his country on his back, crowning Argentina winners against France in one of the most intense finals to date.
In the end, futebol won. However, it is impossible to ignore the greed and corruption of FIFA officials and the questionable decision to host the event in Qatar. While some may argue that “politics don’t belong in futebol” or that “it was important to host the World Cup in the Middle East for the first time”, the fact remains that the horrific treatment of migrant workers in Qatar and the impact. players who were due to play mid-season for their club cannot be excused.
The World Cup should be a celebration of the beautiful game and a way to change culture, a way to bring people together, not a platform for corruption and greed. The World Cup must be hosted in a country that respects player welfare and fitness, properly celebrates and values futebol’s rich history and culture, but can also handle the influx of tourists. Australia, Argentina and Morocco are worthy contenders to host this wonderful occasion and continue to showcase the elegance and diversity of futebol on a global scale.
As the United States is a common 2026 host of the World Cup, I hope we can make the most of it as futebol is slowly but surely growing in our country.
Luiz Macedo attends Norwalk Community College.