Fifa, Workers Rights, and the Culture of Corruption

Fifa, the world governing body for football (soccer), has suffered some serious setbacks recently. Earlier this week, 14 high-ranking Fifa officials were indicted by US courts on corruption and tax evasion charges. The US government alleges they solicited more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks for awarding the World Cup to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. Similar charges are being considered by the Swizz government.

The decision to grant Qatar the right to host the 2022 games was controversial. Matches will need to be moved to winter to avoid dangerously high summer temperatures, and the shift could create problems for many of the professional players who are under contract to play in national leagues. And a report issued by the International Trade Union Confederation, 5,200 workers are expected to die constructing the infrastructure necessary for Qatar to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

What do you think? Does Fifa have a responsibility for ensuring workers building the infrastructure for the World Cup are protected? As a non-governmental organization, how much power does Fifa have? What role does the host government have?

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