• Sheet of paper Report

Playing a Dangerous Game? Human Rights Risks Linked to the 2030 and 2034 FIFA World Cups

Conmebol's President Alejandro Dominguez (L-2) and FIFA President Gianni Infantino (R-2), accompanied by Paraguay's President Santiago Peña (L) and Uruguay's President Luis Lacalle(R), sign a book of minutes of the 2030 World Cup during Conmebol's 78th Ordinary Congress in Luque, Paraguay on April 11, 2024. (Photo by NORBERTO DUARTE / AFP) (Photo by NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP via Getty Images)
(NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP via Getty Images)

The choice of which countries host the FIFA Men’s World Cup is one of the most significant decisions that football’s global governing body can make. Hundreds of thousands of workers will be involved in delivering each tournament, over a million fans will travel across borders to watch matches, billions more will watch it on TV or online, and enormous sums will be spent on major infrastructure projects. Host countries will gain huge visibility and prestige, while FIFA’s earnings will be vast –projected to reach over US$11 billion from the next World Cup in 2026.

History shows that the World Cup can be a source of dignity or exploitation, inclusion or discrimination, freedom or repression. FIFA’s choice of host for the 2030- and 2034-men’s World Cups is therefore both hugely consequential and already controversial. For 2030, FIFA is considering just one bid – jointly by Morocco, Portugal and Spain – with three matches to be played in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. For 2034, only a bid from Saudi Arabia is on the table. One tournament held over three continents, and another in a country with few human rights protections, is set to test FIFA’s human rights commitments to the limit.

This report brings together analysis from human rights organizations, trade unions and fans’ representatives – including from members of the Sport and Rights Alliance – as well as UN experts, treaty monitoring bodies, government data and media reports. It aims to highlight key risks connected to the hosting of the two World Cups that must be addressed if FIFA and bidding countries are to
prevent human rights violations during their preparation and delivery.

Read “Playing a Dangerous Game? Human Rights Risks Linked to the 2030 and 2034 FIFA World Cups.”