The 2022 Qatar World Cup will be brought to you by Coca-Cola on the backs of slave workers, many of whom hail from Nepal. These workers live in filth and work in terrifyingly dangerous conditions; their efforts to build the McDonald’s-funded event will result in one dead worker for every 90 seconds of every Budweiser-sponsored match. (If every player, coach, and referee at the World Cup wore a black Adidas armband in memory of one worker ... there’d be hundreds of leftover armbands.) Journalists who attempt to report on FIFA’s human rights abuses in Qatar end up in jail.
And now, we’ve learned, FIFA (and its corporate sponsor Hyundai) is depriving these workers yet another basic human dignity: the right to bury their loved ones. Nepal’s government is publicly criticizing FIFA for human rights abuses because Nepalese workers are banned from leaving the country to return home for funerals after the devastating earthquake last month. (They’re generally banned from leaving the country, period, or quitting their jobs, or traveling anywhere in a FIFA-branded Kia, because they are slaves.)
Sony, Castrol, Continental Tires, and Johnson & Johnson have all said “enough” and pulled their sponsorship of upcoming World Cups. The others have had more than enough time to speak with their wallets; six months later, we can unequivocally state that Coca-Cola, like McDonalds, Anheuser-Busch, and other familiar brands, still supports slavery.
If this is all still too opaque for you, perhaps this diagram will make things more clear: