After just two games, and £200 billion spent on hosting the tournament, Qatar look to be out of the 2022 World Cup, as they failed to beat Senegal today.
Following defeat to Ecuador on Sunday, and a 3-1 loss to Senegal today, the host country is all but out, barring any fluke results.
A feeling of humiliation must now be creeping in for Qatari officials with their country having hosted, by far, the most expensive sporting tournament in history. The small Middle Eastern nation is estimated to have spent around £200 billion to host the 2022 World Cup.
Other than the host team’s performance on the pitch, Qatar hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory off the pitch, with criticism over its historical treatment of migrant labourers, human rights, and gay rights.
Qatari fans commiserate following a 3-1 loss to Senegal today, with the host country all but out of their own World Cup
Devastated Qatar fans applaud their team as they look unlikely to make it through to the knock-outstage, pictured at the Al Thumama Stadium
In 2017, Qatar’s minister of finance said the country was spending almost £500 million per week just to build the infrastructure to host the world’s biggest sporting event.
Qatar had to build countless roads, hotel accommodation, and travel infrastructure in preparation for the tournament, as well as eight stadiums to host the games.
Since winning the bid to host the tournament in 2010, Qatar has also faced serious allegations about its use of migrant labour to build infrastructure and stadiums for the tournament. Workers have been paid just pence per day to toil in sweltering temperatures that put their lives at risk.
Officially, authorities in Doha say just three workers died building the stadiums – but human rights groups think the true figure is at least in the hundreds, if not the thousands.
An investigation by the Mail revealed that the deaths of 2,823 working-aged foreigners have been recorded as unexplained since the £6.5billion building blitz began in 2011, and it is feared that the true death toll for workers may exceed 6,000.
Following defeat to Ecuador on Sunday, and a 3-1 loss to Senegal today, Qatar are all but out of the World Cup, barring any fluke results
Qatar’s defender Ismaiel Mohammed reacts after Senegal’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy makes a save during the Qatar 2022 World Cup group match, giving the host country little chance of advancing
The small Middle Eastern country has also come under criticism for it staunchly conservative views, making homosexuality illegal. More than that, members of the LGBT community have had their lives threatened by Qatari authorities.
Due to the country’s stance on gay rights, the Qatari organisers banned ‘One Love’ armbands at the Qatar World Cup, preventing other national teams promoting equality.
Captains of nine European nations, including England’s Harry Kane, Wales’ Gareth Bale and Germany’s Manuel Neuer, were planning to wear the One Love armbands promoting inclusivity and LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar, a country which criminalises same-sex relationships.
Human Rights Watch revealed before the tournament started that Qatari police had arbitrarily detained and abused members of the LGBTQ community.
HRW said it had ‘documented six cases of severe and repeated beatings and five cases of sexual harassment in police custody between 2019 and 2022’.
The most recent case was in September, the US-based rights group said.
Four transgender women, one bisexual woman and one gay man all told how members of the interior ministry’s Preventive Security Department detained and beat them in an underground prison in Doha.
After such a humiliating performance, facing defeat at the hands of Ecuador and Senegal, there will be many in Qatar wondering if the expense of hosting the tournament was even worth it.