How are World Cup sponsors navigating the reputational risk?

Qatar’s alleged human rights abuses offer an opportunity for organizations to emphasize their values —either internally, externally or both.

While the 2022 FIFA World Cup is well underway and on track to attract around 5 billion viewers,  host company Qatar remains under constant criticism for its litany of alleged human rights abuses by watchdog organizations and the general public.

Topping off the list are criticisms over Qatar’s criminalization of homosexuality,  which Qatar World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman called “damage in the mind.” Add onto that the deaths of migrant workers who built the stadiums, corruption scandals calling into question how Qatar was allowed to host in the first place and a statement from FIFA chief Sepp Blatter that he regretted Qatar being selected.

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