To protest treatment of the workers readying Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, activists target FIFA’s corporate backers.
image via imgur
We’re still years away from the 2022 FIFA World Cup games slated to take place in the desert nation of Qatar, but already some observers are raising a red flag (or perhaps a red card) over the host country and its treatment of those hired to build the games’ stadiums.
Soccer fans, aid agencies, and even other governments are publicly calling for FIFA to step in and drastically improve the conditions of the migrant workers who critics claim are being forced to work under deplorable and dangerous conditions in which hundreds have already lost their lives, and thousands more live in de facto slavery. Recently, Nepali workers, who make up nearly a quarter of the estimated 1.5 million World Cup laborers, were barred from leaving Qatar to participate in the funerals of their loved ones following the April 25th earthquake that killed scores in their home country. During an interview for an episode of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, activist Husain Abdulla estimated that as many as 4,000 laborers will be dead from unsafe working conditions by the time the 2022 World Cup games actually begin.
To help spur soccer’s governing body to action, designers online have chosen to hit the games where they hurt: The checkbook. Or, in this case, FIFA’s corporate sponsors. As noticed by Bored Panda, Imgur users and Redditors from the site’s popular /r/sports section whipped up these caustic spins on familiar corporate logos in the hopes that FIFA’s sponsors will be motivated to stand up for the very workers making the upcoming games a reality:
Already a number of sponsors backed away from their relationship with FIFA earlier this year. While none reportedly cited a specific reason for their sponsorship cancelation, it seems reasonable to assume that the ongoing allegations of worker abuses taking place under FIFA’s banner couldn’t have helped. More recently, current FIFA sponsor Visa has expressed “grave concern” over allegations of worker treatment in Qatar, and urged action to improve the situation.
Hopefully, by the time the 2022 games actually begin, conditions will have improved to the point that we can focus on celebrating athletic achievement rather than decrying the abuse of those who make it all possible.