FIFA’s False Claims on Environmental Impact of 2022 World Cup
In a recent development, the Swiss Fairness Commission (SLK) has accused FIFA of making false statements about the environmental impact of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The world football governing body had claimed that this tournament would be carbon neutral – a first for any World Cup. However, complaints from five European nations led to investigations by SLK which upheld these claims.
The SLK stated that during proceedings, FIFA was unable to provide sufficient evidence proving their claim that the tournament would be fully carbon-neutral. Therefore, it advised them not to make such unsubstantiated claims in future events.
FIFA based its claim on several initiatives like offsetting every ticketholder’s flight emissions and providing electric mobility for public transport around the event. However, UK-based environmental group New Weather Institute submitted a complaint stating that there were underestimations of emissions and lack of credibility in offsets used by FIFA which could mislead fans and consumers.
The United Kingdom along with France, Belgium, Switzerland and Netherlands all challenged this statement with SLK upholding each complaint following an arduous process.
“The SLK concluded that it should not be claimed that sustainability goals have been achieved if there are no definitive and generally accepted methods for measuring sustainability or ensuring sustainability measures have been implemented,” said the regulator adding they could not judge whether Fifa’s estimation is accurate enough.”
Director Andrew Simms of New Weather Institute says more needs to be done to eliminate greenwashing where organizations deceive people into thinking their products/policies are environmentally friendly.”
To protect people & nature we need robust proactive regulation against pollution advertising as sport continues being used as giant billboard promoting polluting products/lifestyles posing risks even to athletes’ health/future,” said Simms.