Qatar Football World Cup and Cultural Issues
The 2022 football FIFA world cup to be held in Qatar has faced many criticisms and controversies. One of the main among them has been Qatar’s inability to provide a free, modern environment for tourists to come in and enjoy the spectacle. The laws banning homosexuality and the prohibition on the consumption of alcohol etc. have come under the microscope lending weight to the argument that Qatar is not a suitable host of such a global event.
Being one of the Arab states, Qatar’s culture is not as open as the west would want it to be. Since it is an Islamic state and has based its laws on the Sharia system, consumption of alcohol publicly is not allowed in Qatar. However, in many footballing cultures around the world, having beer during games is a core part of their match-day activities. So banning alcohol during games will not fall lightly on the ears of fans from many countries.
Another major issue is the ban on LGTB activities inside Qatar. Homosexuality is outlawed in Qatar and anybody caught in the act faces up to seven years in prison. Recently, reports came out that Qatar, in addition to a few other Arab states, is developing a medical test to allow it to “detect” homosexuals and bar them from entering the country.
A staunch supporter of the world cup in Qatar, FIFA President Sepp Blatter recently commented on the situation that he hopes that fans would refrain from homosexual activities while in Qatar. This doesn’t just sound unacceptable, it also highlights the fact that Qatar is not open enough to accept tourists and fans from all kinds of backgrounds.
The Way Forward
Reacting to all this negative vibe about cultural issues in Qatar in the media, the Qatari authorities have responded by insisting that acceptable solutions will be found to all the outstanding issues. They might even consider allowing the consumption of alcohol during the world cup. If solutions to most of the major problems can be found, then it would mean that a major obstacle in the way of a successful tournament is circumvented.