Few sporting events in history are as controversial as the Qatar World Cup. It’s even crazier because it hasn’t even happened yet. This is a twisted tale of corruption and human rights abuse. When the news broke the tiny Middle Eastern nation would host soccer’s most prestigious tournament, fans were in disbelief. Qatar had no history of success in the sport and it was so hot that they rescheduled the tournament for winter.
Meanwhile, the country lacked the infrastructure to host the games and had to build stadia from scratch. They hired a host of immigrant workers and endured severe criticism from human rights support groups for exploiting them. Furthermore, the majority of the FIFA committee, who handed the tournament to Qatar, received bans from the sport on charges of corruption. In sum, it stinks.
This event was meant to be Japan’s moment in the spotlight. But instead, it became a major burden and the cause of intense division across the island nation. In short, the global health crisis forced Japan to defer the Olympics for one year. However, many citizens wanted their government to cancel the event because of a slow vaccine roll-out. They feared that it would become a superspreader event.
An incredible 30% of Japan’s population is over the age of 60 and vulnerable to the crisis. However, the Japanese government refused to cancel the Games because of the financial burden. Instead, they announced that they would take place in empty stadiums. The Games became even more controversial when athletes began to test positive. These included U.S. tennis star Coco Gauff, amongst others.