With the 2022 World Cup underway in Qatar, over a billion people are expected to tune in to watch the final of the world’s most popular sporting event on December 18. Yet this year's event has faced controversy due to international backlash over Qatar's human right practices, most notably accusations of forced labour and the death of migrant workers during construction for the event. Renewed attention is also being paid to the country's path to hosting the event, which has been equally fraught with controversy.
The backlash around this year's World Cup is indicative of a larger problem faced by FIFA (the international governing body of association football) - namely its inability to shake off its reputation of corruption and financial crime globally. In fact, FIFA and the broader world of professional football have a long history of questionable behaviour and nefarious characters seemingly motivated by greed. Is it finally time for the world's most beloved pastime to face a public reckoning?