Bangladeshis are on a 2022 FIFA World Cup frenzy, but this year things are a bit more complicated. · Global Voices in French

World Cup graffiti on a wall painted by residents of KM Das Lane in Swami Bagh, Old Dhaka. Screenshot from Dainik Bangla’s Facebook video. Used with permission.

The edition of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the world’s most watched sporting event, began in Qatar in November 2020. Like other countries caught in the football fever, Bangladesh also joined the craze like every 4 years.

Fans raise the flags of the participating countries on the roofs, graffiti of football players can be found on the walls, houses are painted in the colors of the Brazilian and Argentine flags, stripes and various forms are bought en masse, displaying the flags of the famous teams for kilometers. teams. Chances are, your favorite team’s fan jersey or official jersey was made in Bangladesh.

This year’s event in Qatar was initially marred by controversy over allegations of corruption in Qatar’s bid to host the World Cup and the deaths of more than 6,500 migrant workers between 2010 and January 2021. One of the richest countries in the world, Qatar has a population of approximately 2.9 million, of which more than 70% or 2 million are migrant workers who have migrated to work in various sectors. The construction sector employs around one million migrant workers, and around 100,000 of them were employed in building the infrastructure hosting this World Cup, including stadiums, sports villages and roads. According to statistics published by The Guardian, 1,018 of the migrant workers who lost their lives were from Bangladesh.

Qatar has rejected allegations of corruption and claims that migrant worker death statistics are linked to the World Cup, saying the figure reflects the total number of expatriate deaths during the period in question. FIFA said only three people died in the construction of World Cup infrastructure, but Deutsche Welle’s fact-checking reveals that the current figure should be around 40, as the number of deaths related to the 2022 World Cup varies depending on the cause. death can be attributed to the work done on the infrastructure of this trophy.

Why are football fans in Bangladesh so attached to Brazil and Argentina?

Bangladeshis generally support many teams, especially those who have won previous World Cups. In comparison flags submitted by supporters however Obviously, he is adored by both Brazil and Argentina fans, and there have been reports of disputes between fans due to their different affiliations.

Bangladesh are at the bottom of the FIFA world rankings (192nd) and have not seen any success in football recently. When there is no local team to support them during the World Cup, they find support in their favorite international teams that they support.

They traditionally support Brazilian teams (1er) and Argentina (3e) and there is much debate as to why this is so. This 2018 YouTube video by Plaantik explores the possible reasons why Bangladeshis support Brazil and Argentina more than other teams.

According to this video, in 1982, Bangladesh State Television began broadcasting live World Cup games and color TV became popular. In the 70s and 80s, children learned about Pele and Brazil through school books and eagerly followed the successes of the Argentine star Maradona and his team. Over the following decades, a passionate fan base developed for both teams.

Celebrating the World Cup in Bangladesh style

One of the trademarks of Bangladeshi football fans is to hoist the flags of the football nations from the rooftops. Rafid Ishtiaque, a student of Dhaka University’s Faculty of Economics, wrote on his Twitter account:

Fans of different teams often compete to see who can make the biggest flag. Journalist Saif Hasnat wrote on his Twitter account:

The longest German flag (5.5 km long) was made by a Bangladeshi farmer as a tribute to the success of the German team.  Screenshot from YouTube video by Somoy News.  Fair use.

The longest German flag (5.5 km long) was made by a Bangladeshi farmer as a tribute to the success of the German team. Screenshot from YouTube video of Somoy TV. Used with permission.

Shafayat Islam Niloy, sports reporter of the online news site he tweeted :

Niloy also tweeted photos of fans on the streets rallying for their favorite teams:

Twitter user Fahmaan reports The rickshaw is painted in Argentine colors.

Another highlight is the colorful graffiti on the streets and walls. Twitter user Md. Arafat Islam emphasizes A graffiti from old Dhaka:

During each #FIFAWorldCup, Bangladesh’s former city of Dhaka is on fire for football. ⚽

Location: Kaltabazar, # Dhaka, #Bangladesh ??#FIFAWorldCupQatar2022

— Dr. Arafat Islam (@ArafatIslam2004) November 16, 2022

Engineer Nayeem Hasan he tweeted :

Twitter user Foysal share it :

Journalist Shafayat Islam Niloy he tweeted :

Interestingly, the players of these teams had no idea about Bangladesh or these secret fans. But in the era of social networks, some efforts are noticeable. For example, Argentina’s Soccer News Twitter account shared several articles about Bangladesh.

Let’s remember the contribution of labor migrants to the World Cup

While Qatar claims the government has introduced labor rights reforms, Human Rights Watch says they were mostly implemented after 2018, when construction on the World Cup was almost over and many workers were forced to help build the World Cup. did. infrastructure did not benefit from these reforms and compensation measures.

The head of AFP’s Dhaka office, journalist Shafiqul Alam visited the Bangladeshis working in the construction of stadiums in Qatar. He told the story of another worker: Atiar, on Facebook:

Atiar is one of the thousands of workers who are building the stadium but are not getting paid for their work. Atiar does not want you to watch the matches, for him these stadiums were built with the blood of migrants. “Watching the games would be a betrayal of our own blood, every stone and brick of the stadium is stained with our blood and sweat. Still, most of us were not paid even a single rial. We were working in the scorching 55 degree Celsius sun. We haven’t eaten for days. We spent the nights on the beaches. But the authorities could not find out who was paid to work from us. When we organized demonstrations, they sent police to attack the organizers. »

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