The 2022 World Cup


Anna Lucia Arguello, Staff Writer

Soccer is a celebrated sport throughout most of the world. The FIFA World Cup is a highly anticipated event; a competition and feat of international cooperation to allow countries to band together around a common passion. Despite this, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Between the defunct stadiums left in its wake and accusations of human rights abuse in Qatar where this year’s World Cup is being hosted (although that may have less to do with the Cup than reporters are leading us to believe), there’s no shortage of controversies. 

Following the United States’ shocking tie with England, the Cup is on everyone’s minds. Since its founding in 1930, it’s become a worldwide sensation. Families all over the globe gather around television screens, watching soccer as religiously as we watch football here in the United States. It’s held every four years, with the winners gaining international prestige. Nations compete fiercely to host, often spending extraordinary amounts of money in the process. Brazil, for example, was estimated to have spent around three billion dollars in building stadiums for the 2014 World Cup. One of these stadiums was the Arena de Amazonia, which was only used for four matches before it was practically abandoned, not even pulling in enough money for maintenance costs. There were eleven other stadiums built for the same Cup, many of which share the same fate. 

Another side effect of hosting is the number of eyes on the hosting country. This year, Qatar is under fire for things the world was previously happy to ignore. There are allegations of abuses of migrant workers, abuses of women’s rights, controversy surrounding the alcohol ban, and numerous complaints of how visitors are being accommodated during the tournament. On top of this, there are accusations being made toward the media coverage of the situation, saying that it’s misrepresenting how many problems are due to the World Cup itself. It’s also sparked discussions about what standards we hold different countries to. Russia was the last nation to host while dealing with many similar issues with less public backlash. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get unbiased and accurate information on the topic while the Cup is ongoing. It’s likely that no one will know the full story until the winner has long since been decided.  

However, all this hasn’t stopped fans from enjoying the games they so eagerly looked forward to. We’re in round 16, and the world is highly anticipating the results. At the end of the day, no matter how many problems arise or how much people disagree, one thing the world can agree on is getting together to watch their favorite teams, cheering them on from the sidelines. That’s what’s truly important during the world cup.