The Qatari government is compensating a group of fans to disseminate positive propaganda about the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup.
The program, run by Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, includes 400 fans from 60 countries, according to Reuters. Various media reports have noted fans from several European countries will participate — including the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.
Fans will receive free travel and lodging in return for posting positive messages on social media about the World Cup experience. A Qatari spokesperson told Reuters the fans cannot “disparage” Qatar or the World Cup.
The program will likely look to combat the global outcry Qatar has faced as it has readied itself to host global soccer’s biggest event.
- Much of the criticism is related to Qatar’s archaic laws, particularly those which discriminate against the LGBTQ community. Several LGBTQ groups are protesting the tournament as a result.
- World Cup projects also received backlash. Qatar allegedly put the workers in dangerous conditions and refused to pay them adequately, drawing criticism from Human Rights Watch and others.
- The groups ordered FIFA to pay $440 million to migrant workers who had suffered — which soccer’s governing body refused to do.
Some members of the global soccer community are readying protests of their own.