"Qatar’s vision for the World Cup did not just require the building of seven stadiums and the refurbishment of an eighth."
"The country also needed an entire network of roads and rails to transport fans between the arenas and dozens upon dozens of hotels to house them — nothing less than an entirely redrawn country, rising from the sand in a $220 billion nation-building project. To achieve it, Qatar recruited hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from some of the poorest corners of the planet, swelling the country’s population — which grew by 13.2 percent in the last year alone — and drawing intense focus on the laborers’ treatment, their rights and their living conditions. How many have died over the last decade or more is not known, and may never be. Many thousands more have returned home sick or injured or deprived of the pay they were promised...."
From "The World Cup That Changed Everything/The decision to take the World Cup to Qatar has upturned a small nation, battered the reputation of global soccer’s governing body and altered the fabric of the sport" (NYT).
"A new wave of migrant workers has arrived, meanwhile, to staff the hotels, man the stadiums and serve the food.... Qatar shocked FIFA and fans alike on Friday by deciding, only days before the tournament’s opening match, to go back on its promise to allow the sale of beer at its eight World Cup stadiums..... The about-face raised new questions about whether everyone — particularly LGBTQ+ fans — will face the kind of welcome that Qatar’s organizing committee and FIFA have consistently guaranteed. This month, Khalid Salman, a former Qatari national team player now deployed as an ambassador for the World Cup, did not seem to have heard the organizers’ messaging. 'Homosexuality is haram here,' he told a German documentary, using an Arabic word that roughly translates as forbidden. 'It is haram because it is damage in the mind.'"
ADDED: Is $220 billion really that much? It's just 5 Twitters.
AND: Imagine forbidding everything that is "damage in the mind"? What would escape forbidding?