World Cup in Qatar takes a toll on the environment

Via Flickr

Grace Smith | December 8, 2022

With thousands of international flights, numerous lighting illuminating the field, and an air-conditioned outdoor stadium, critics say the Qatar Soccer World Cup is environmentally harmful. Several environmentally-cautious professional players wrote an open letter to FIFA, urging FIFA to stop claiming that Qatar 2022 is carbon neutral. 

“The tournament has been labeled as the first ‘fully carbon neutral FIFA World Cup tournament,’ meaning its overall impact on the planet should be zero,” the letter said. “But that’s not true… In reality, FIFA’s sustainability strategy for the Qatar World Cup rests on flawed carbon calculations, questionable offsetting practices, and shifting the responsibility onto fans rather than shouldering it themselves.”

FIFA said the total number of greenhouse gas emissions in the Qatar World Cup will be 5.4 million tons of carbon dioxide, which will be mitigated by “low-carbon solutions” in Qatar and the Gulf region. 

Restaurants and pubs in France, Germany, and Britain pledged to not show the World Cup on their televisions. NBC said a broadcaster and retired soccer player also boycotted the tournament.

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