Sport and Systems: A Postcolonial Perspective on the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup


There have been several reported cases surrounding Qatar’s kafala system, the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup and exploitation of migrant workers. The purpose of this study is to critically investigate Qatar’s kafala system and demonstrate how postcolonial practices are rooted in colonial practices for economic gain. This work is important and needs to be reinterpreted as Qatar has been the recipient of bad press and demonization because of the kafala system, which is the relationship between employers and migrant workers. The paper offers the perspective that Qatar’s practices, much like other postcolonial nations, reflects colonial hegemony. This perspective aims to contribute to the academic fields of sport management, sport in society and history. The method used in this paper is a literature review. The knowledge derives from a combination of journal and newspaper articles. The results of this literature review demonstrate that Qatar should not be held in contempt for using the kafala system because it is a by-product of postcolonialism. Lastly, this paper is only meant to present a critical perspective, it is recommended that scholars and stakeholders from diverse disciplines investigate the macro-challenges postcolonial societies encounter while attempting to transcend colonial strongholds.


Jason Francis
Student, Sport Management, University of Florida, Florida, United States


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


2023 Special Focus—The Impact of Professional Sport on Community


Sport Management, Sport in Society, Postcolonial, FIFA, Football, Kafala

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