WASHINGTON – With the World Cup in full swing, Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) says the event should come to the United States in 2022.
Casey doesn’t appear to have developed a case of soccer fever, though. Instead, he cited labor abuses in Qatar, the controversial 2022 host country, and wrote a letter to soccer’s world governing body urging an about face.
His letter to Switzerland-based FIFA cites reports that say migrant workers in Qatar are earning as little as $6.75 for a day of manual labor and that they are often housed in overcrowded, unsafe labor camps.
The awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar – over bids from the U.S., among others – has also been followed by news reports alleging millions of dollars of payments from a Qatari soccer official to FIFA officials before the decision, sparking ongoing controversy and some calls to move the event. Others have raised fears about the extreme temperatures that would affect an outdoor sporting event in the Middle East.
“Rewarding these labor practices with the 2022 World Cup is the wrong approach” Casey said in a news release. “I’m urging FIFA to remove the cloud that hangs over the 2022 World Cup and swiftly reallocate this event. The U.S. submitted a quality bid to FIFA that should once again be given serious consideration. Bringing the 2022 World Cup to the U.S. will also have a significant jobs impact that strengthens our economy.”
Casey wrote that 18 U.S. cities, including Philadelphia, would see a significant economic boost from an American-based World Cup.
“I hope FIFA considers these concerns seriously and takes swift action to revoke hosting rights for the 2022 FIFA World Cup from Qatar and awards them to the U.S.” his letter concludes.