FIFA president Gianni Infantino revealed on Monday that the 2022 World Cup that will be hosted by Qatar is expected to be watched by 5 billion people around the world.
Recall that the TV audiences for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was a record-breaking 3.5 billion spectators.
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Monday criticised attacks on Qatar by some people over Qatar hosting of the event.
“Even today, there are still people who cannot accept the idea, that an Arab Muslim country, would host a tournament, like the World Cup,” he said in a speech at the World Economic Forum.
Further stating that Qatar not perfect but has pushed reforms and development.
Qatar has come under intense criticism from human rights groups over its treatment of migrant workers, who along with other foreigners comprise the bulk of the country’s population.
High profile soccer stars like England manager Gareth Southgate have raised concerns over the human rights of some fans traveling to Qatar, especially women and LGBT+ fans.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. There are concerns over the status of women, some of whom need permission from a male relative to marry, work in government jobs and travel overseas.
Tournament organisers stress that everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or background, is welcome in Qatar, while also warning fans against public displays of affection.
Qatar has said its labour system is still a work in progress, and denied a 2021 Amnesty International report that thousands of migrant workers were still being exploited.
Adapted from Reuters.