Sun, 22 Sep, 2019

World Cup - Behind The Scenes

By Bidish Acharya

The knockout stage of the world cup kicked off last Saturday as a result of which the intensity and the excitement among the fans have risen up. It is not so hard to figure out that all the Nepalese football fans have put themselves in front of the television screen since the tournament kicked off. Had I not been obsessed with the exams, I would’ve been no different. Holding aside the World Cup craze, I would like to dip you into the bitter story of the Nepalese who are losing their lives as migrant workers in Qatar. I am worried to face the day when we will be cheering and entertaining the deaths of thousands of those innocent, hardworking people. Yes, that day is set to come. “The winner to organize the 2022 FIFA World Cup is Qatar.” The above mentioned statement is still as controversial in the world as it was when Sepp Blatter, the current President of FIFA, first uttered it at a press conference in 2010. Qatar’s temperature clearly rises above 40 degrees centigrade during summer. No one could ever imagine playing in that extreme heat. But the astonishing bid by Qatar promised an amazing and the most dazzling World Cup ever, evidently with a promise to have cool stadiums, all with an approximated cost of 200 billion dollars. For a country with the highest per capita income in the world, money is not an issue. All Qatar needs is enough laborers. And no wonder, to pursue the dreams of living a happy and wealthy life, many young and able Nepalese end up working in Qatar. Some even die! coffins-kathmandu-airport An official record indicates that 185 Nepalese died in Qatar in 2013 alone. This is a breathtaking figure. It’s getting worse every year. No one knows the real cause of their death, but the families of deceased people have to accept what’s written on the casket that arrives with the dead body, which is mostly ‘heart attack’ and ‘suicide’. Speaking about my knowledge on this topic, I was completely ignorant of the situation of Nepali migrant workers in Qatar until I viewed a documentary by ESPN. Little did I know that the 2022 FIFA World Cup is being built on the bloods of thousands of innocent Nepalese. Having said all this, I do not expect any decrement in the number of people moving to Qatar in pursuit of living a happy life; not in a distant future. The unemployment problem for the so-called unqualified youths has shown no sign of improvement. Most young people are not even able to feed their families. Given this scenario, who would turn down the offer of earning a huge amount of money in a ‘foreign’ land? Not me. Next time I watch a World Cup game; this thought will be lingering on my mind.