A HEREFORD pub will not be showing World Cup matches due to the Qatar tournament being marred with controversy.

The host nation has faced questions over human rights abuses, deaths of migrant workers building stadiums and its laws making homosexuality illegal.

As a result, The Victory, in St Owen Street, said it would not be showing any games from the tournament which kicked off over the weekend.


The pub said it could not show a single match in good faith.

England play Iran in their opening game on Monday, with Wales also featuring in their first World Cup since 1958 against the USA.

"We are a company of good faith and strong beliefs and after much discussion, we can not in good faith show a single football match from Qatar," the pub said.

"We understand how difficult for some people it will be to accept this choice but we have decided we must be true to ourselves.

"The lack of tolerance in the nation of Qatar means we will not give a platform for them to sport-wash themselves. Good luck to the home nations."


There were immediate calls for a rerun of the vote, and even talk of boycotts, when FIFA's executive committee awarded the tournament to Qatar in December 2010, ignoring warnings even from FIFA's own bid evaluation report of the "potential health risk" of playing the tournament in searing desert heat in June and July.

An independent ethics investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process by Michael Garcia, a former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was released in 2017 and identified no "smoking gun" of corruption to warrant the withdrawal of Qatar's hosting rights.

The tournament was officially moved to the European wintertime back in 2015, and will force leagues on this continent and elsewhere to halt mid-season.

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But the human consequences have been far graver.

Qatar has spent over 200 billion US dollars (£177.7bn) on infrastructure since 2010, according to the Supreme Committee responsible for organising the finals.

That infrastructure has largely been built by migrant labourers, whose working conditions have been the subject of a great deal of scrutiny since the World Cup was awarded.

The Guardian reported last year there had been 6,750 deaths of south Asian migrants in Qatar since 2010, with labour rights advocacy group FairSquare Projects saying a "significant proportion" of those migrant workers were only in the country because of the World Cup award.

Critics of Qatar, including human rights group Amnesty International and Klaveness, accept there have been improvements and that labour reforms passed by the government to end the "kafala" system – which effectively tied workers to an employer – are a welcome step.