Live

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-01:00 PM

Highlights on Off The Ball
Advertisement

Sport

"These people paid the ultimate price for Qatar's World Cup experiment" | Matt Slater

Reports have indicated that as many as 6,500 migrants have died since Qatar won hosting rights in 2010.

Cameron Hill
Cameron Hill

22:39 1 Dec 2021



The Athletic's Matt Slater believes Qatar will never be able to justify the deaths of migrant workers during preparations for the 2022 World Cup.

It is less than 12 months to go before the controversial World Cup gets underway. The first group game kicks off on November 21st, 2022.

However, reports have indicated that as many as 6,500 migrants have died since Qatar won hosting rights in 2010.

The Middle Eastern country has made considerable efforts to generate good publicity in light of scrutiny from human rights organisations.

Most recently, England legend David Beckham has voiced his support for the 2022 World Cup. Slater has examined Beckham's relationship with the event in a recent piece for The Athletic.

Slater joined Joe Molloy on Wednesday night's Football Show. He explained that there are complexities when discussing Qatar's human rights record since their successful World Cup bid.

"They have made progress - they said they would," Slater noted. "We've repeatedly asked them questions about it; has it been quick enough? Have they delivered on time? Is there still a lot to do?"

"If you work on a building site controlled by the Supreme Committee - the organising committee of the World Cup - life's not bad. I'm not sure I'd want to do it, but then we get into really philosophical issues there around just how lucky we are to be born in the West, quite frankly."

"Also, we have to remember how far we've come, and the way we built canals and railways, and all of our infrastructure. We have to be careful that we're not being hypocrites."

"All of that said, it's the migrant deaths that is the hardest one for Qatar to swerve."

Slater: "It's impossible for Qatar's PR people to justify this"

Slater also believes that Qatar's ambition has led to the surge in migrant deaths and the ensuing negative press.

"It's completely legitimate for a country to have a plan around diversifying its economy, using its money to help its people and grow as a nation," Slater contends.

"It's also legitimate to use major events - and we've done this - as a catalyst and a means to project soft power."

"But, they chose to bid for a World Cup; they also chose to bid for an Olympics, and they weren't even getting on the starting line, because the IOC just didn't think they'd be ready for it."

"FIFA let them onto the starting line, and then they won that contest."

"By making that choice, they were saying: 'we're going to accelerate what we want to do, with hotels, a new port, a new airport and new roads.'"

"That means that, in a country of 300,000 people, they were going to need an awful lot more help."

"As a country, they weren't ready; they're still not really ready," Slater added.

"They weren't ready culturally. They weren't ready in terms of basic infrastructure - 'where do we put these people? How do we pay these people? Is our legal system up to scratch?'"

"None of these things were ready. Some of these people paid the ultimate price for this kind of experiment, this accelerated national plan for relevance."

"For me, that one is impossible for Qatar's clever, nice PR people to justify."

Football on Off The Ball, brought to you by Sky.

All the football you love in one place across Sky Sports, BT Sport & Premier Sports.

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OTB Sports's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Read more about

David Beckham Qatar Qatar World Cup World Cup 2022

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-01:00 PM

Share

Up next

Live: Sunday Paper Review

Live: Sunday Paper Review

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

LIVE: OTB Weekend

LIVE: OTB Weekend

02:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on