The FCO’s preparations for the 2018 World Cup Contents

3Future World Cups

44.We welcome FIFA’s introduction in 2017 of human rights requirements for countries bidding to host the World Cup. This step followed controversy over the selection of Russia for the 2018 tournament and Qatar for 2022, related to their governments’ treatment of LGBT individuals, among other concerns. Under the new rules, bidders must formally commit to respecting international human rights standards. They must submit a report identifying human rights risks associated with the tournament, and the mechanisms that will be put in place to address them, including an independent expert assessment of the country’s human rights context.121 These requirements have been applied to the selection process for the 2026 host. On 13 June, FIFA members are expected to select either Morocco, or a joint bid from the USA, Canada and Mexico. This will be a test case for FIFA’s reformed bidding process, as—for example—same-sex relationships constitute a criminal offence in Morocco.122

Future World Cups: Conclusions

45.We regret that the World Cup is hosted by countries with poor human rights records, and which pose a heightened degree of risk to football fans. The FCO should monitor the selection process for the 2026 World Cup hosts, and report back to us its assessment of how effectively the new conditions have served to ensure that host countries respect human rights—including the rights of LGBT and BAME individuals. That report should also set out what further steps are needed to ensure that FIFA treats human rights considerations adequately; and how the FCO and other departments intend to feed back to FIFA on this point. We ask to receive this report by the end of September.

Published: 8 June 2018