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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Going for Gold

The World Cup and Olympic Games continue to be a source of exploitation and gentrification

Every couple of years, nations across the globe unite around a singular experience. The FIFA World Cup and The Olympic Games have remained the most significant sporting events for decades. Just this past year, the 2022 World Cup amassed 5.4 billion views according to beIN Media Group. However, in their wake, it is clear that both events transform the countries they are held in for the worse. 

Consistently the source of turmoil in the countries they are held in, The FIFA World Cup and The Olympic Games perpetuate worker exploitation, local gentrification, and a consistent economic burden.  The constant construction of pro-level facilities in international locations cause far more harm than the cultural value they may cultivate. 


This past year Qatar became one of the most controversial World Cup locations. The small middle eastern nation becoming a World Cup location sparked issues from the moment it was decided. From having the event rescheduled from its traditional summer season to the winter to rampant anti-LGBTQ policies, Qatar officials were faced with constant backlash. 

One of the largest issues receiving coverage was Qatar’s treatment of both migrant workers and loca

l inhabitants as they constructed the facilities for the event. 

Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup in 2010 and for years global pressure mounted on the nation as it became clear that the exploitation of their Asian and African migrant workers was immense. 

The nation became notorious for its “Kafala” system which keeps migrant workers in their labor economy. Amnesty International and other international labor organizations investigated the system and discovered that the system “traps migrant workers in a cycle of abuse.” 

Both the World Cup and Olympics are often framed as an economic boost for the host countries but this is hardly the case. According to an article by Front Office Sports, the construction of new stadiums in Qatar cost in the range of $6.5 to $10 billion dollars. In addition, a large metro system constructed to facilitate transport between the several facilities was another $36 billion dollars and in total, the World Cup is cited as costing the nation $200 billion dollars. 

Secretary General of the Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Hassan Al Thwadi, predicted that the addition to the economy would amount to around $20 billion dollars. Meaning that, at its best, the economic boost to the nation would barely sum up to a tenth of what was expended for the event. 

However, in the end, the economic boost to the nation did not meet the expected 20 billion dollars. According to an update by Bloomberg, the World Cup added a mere $17 billion dollars to the economy (in comparison to previously cited $200 billion dollars the World Cup cost). 



The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were no different. Just as the World Cup led to exploitation in Qatar, the Olympic Games were a source of gentrification and economic burden for Japan. 

In June of 2021, Reuters reported the story of one Japanese man subject to the gentrification and displacement caused by the construction of the Olympics. Eighty-year-old Kohei Jinno was evicted and had his home destroyed to construct infrastructure for the games. He reported to the news institution that he was only given 170,000 yen (1,500 USD) to relocate while the entire moving process cost him one million yen (9,000 USD). When thinking of the strong community of his former neighborhood Jinno said, “It was so hard to leave. It was the place I’ve lived longest in my life.”

Similarly to the World Cup, the Tokyo Olympics cost far more than the economic boost it brought to the nation. In March of last year, the CEO of the Organizing Committee Toshiro Muto reported that the Tokyo Olympics cost $13.6 billion dollars and a study by The University of Oxford would go on to conclude that the Tokyo Olympics were the most expensive in the games’ history. In total, the Olympic Games took in $7.6 billion dollars in revenue according to SportsPro Media



The 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics are microcosms of the issues caused by world-class sporting events that choose to relocate on a consistent basis. The constant construction of pro-level facilities in interna

tional locations cause far more harm than the cultural value they may cultivate.

Between the years of the 1988 and 2012 Olympic Games, more than two million p

eople were removed from their homes due to the construction of the facilities for the games and, according to The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, often this relocation is devoid of the human rights protectio

n residents are supposed to be afforded. In addition, a study

 by reported on by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, Lawrence Vale, these relocations are rampant with forced, unreimbursed evictions (like Jonni’s) and mass-scale displacements.

Part of the United Nations Sustainable Goal is to cultivate cities and nations that hold sustainable communities and engage in sustainable development and innovation. The economic and social costs of both the World Cup and Olympic Games display every interval prove that they constantly conflict with this goal. These events are an opportunity for the world, despite the border of nations and political rivalries to unify around a collective event. However, it should not be under the destruction of countless communities and lives.


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About the Contributor
Reese Taylor, Layout Editor
Reese Taylor is a senior going into her second year on staff as layout editor. When she's not writing for the opinions department she's memorizing speeches and getting harassed by her two younger brothers. Feel free to contact her at [email protected].

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