Qatar’s loss to Senegal in the World Cup Friday afternoon and Ecuador’s draw with The Netherlands led to Qatar making history as the first host country to be the first one booted out of the tournament in World Cup history—adding more fuel to the fire of what’s already been a controversial event.
Qatar’s 3-1 loss to Senegal on Friday was their second loss in the group stages, leading to their elimination in the first round of play, before the Round of 16.
They were officially eliminated after Ecuador and The Netherlands—which are in the same four-country group as Qatar—tied 1-1 just hours later, making it impossible for the Middle Eastern country, representing less than 3 million residents, to muster a comeback (The Netherlands needed a win or draw in order for Qatar to be cut).
Striker Mohommed Muntari’s goal in the 78th minute of play on Friday was Qatar’s only goal of the tournament, following their goalless effort in a 2-0 loss to Ecuador last Sunday.
Qatar cemented its loss just five days after the first match of the tournament—which it had been planning to host for 12 years. The selection of Qatar as a host has been riddled with controversy, however, with Sepp Blatter, the former head of FIFA—which organizes the event—this week calling it a “bad choice.” At the center of the debate has been a series of human rights accusations around the country’s treatment of workers who built the stadiums specifically for the event. Several major human rights groups, including the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have denounced the “appalling” conditions workers were subjected to, accusing the country of a system that amounts to “modern slavery.” During the construction, it was reported that roughly 6,500 migrant workers—largely from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka—died. Qatari officials disputed that claim, however, telling CNN there were only three work-related deaths and 37 non-work-related deaths during construction.
Qatar has also been slammed for its criminality of homosexuality and its treatment of women, who have limited rights inside the country. Seven European countries planned to wear armbands that read “OneLove” while playing—a symbol of LGBTQ support. One of those countries is Germany, whose players placed their hands over their mouths and wore rainbow stripes on their shirts and cleats in a photo taken before their match against Japan on Wednesday. The teams backed down, however, after FIFA threatened to issue yellow cards to players that wore the armbands.
Only six host countries have won the World Cup since the tournament began, starting with the very first iteration in 1930, which Uruguay hosted and won. Four years later, Italy hosted and won. England did the same in 1966, then West Germany in 1974, Argentina in 1978 and France in 1998.
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