Football is considered the most beautiful thing in the world. Especially because it represents certain values. Discrimination, exploitation and any other injustice have no place in playing with round skin. Not so in Qatar, the host country of the upcoming World Cup. In August 2021, Amnesty International reported that up to 15,000 migrant workers, mostly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, died as a result of working on construction sites for the 2011-2020 event. In addition, most of the workers had to work up to 84 hours a week in the heat for starvation wages. Often against their will and under threat of punishment. After all, eight stadiums had to be rebuilt under great time pressure to get the ball rolling in the desert in December. There were also no days off or holidays, according to reports. But extorting commissions to get work at all. Other criticisms of the World Cup being awarded to Qatar include the country’s ban on homosexuality and the lack of equality between women and men.
In the weeks after the 2010 division, canceling the World Cup would have been possible and justified. Almost two months before the start, a boycott of entire countries is unlikely. However, calls from fans, statements from officials and players may lead to the powers of world football taking a clearer stance in the future. Should global sporting events only be held in democracies? What conditions should prevail in the country? Who suffers from the event? These are the questions that need to be asked before a major event is awarded. Organizer Qatar, on the other hand, feels like a scapegoat. Fifa officials and the country itself have repeatedly said that the situation was no better or worse elsewhere. The fact that it is not a question of other countries where the conditions of football festivals were equally controversial does not seem to have arrived. Nor what values the sport, in this case football, should actually represent. In any case, the first alternative events for the World Cup in Qatar are already worldwide. Likewise in Vienna – with the Human Rights Cup.
Back to people
Anyone can play in the tournament at Rustenschacherallee. The event, which will be held for the first time, is organized by the “Fairplay” initiative, the players’ union “Jalkapalloliitto”, the immigrant sports and cultural association “Neuer Start”, the international sports movement “Mamanet” and the Austrian development cooperation. “One of the Cup’s goals is to bring sports back to the country. Away from big companies and back to people,” says Hanna Stepanik, head of the “fairplay” division. “Diaspora communities and groups who have been exploited at the World Cup construction sites in Qatar, who have suffered homophobia and gender discrimination, or whose freedom of expression and freedom of the press have been restricted, should come together to play football. Together for human rights.” In addition to the quinquennial soccer tournament with eight teams competing, there is also a cricket competition and a Mamanet cachibol practice station where women can participate spontaneously. Cachibol is an internationally recognized ball sport that originated in Israel and is played like volleyball, except that you can catch the ball. In addition to music and childcare, Rapid’s former goalkeeper Richard Strebinger will also be present, and he will organize a public practice for those interested. The teams do not compete in the tournament itself. Ultimately, the Human Rights Cup goes to the team that best represents human rights.