On 2 December 2010, in a decision that became a lightning rod for controversy, FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
FIFA announced the hosts of both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, with the former going to Russia over a bid from England and combined bids from the Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal. But while that decision drew criticism of its own, it was the 2022 tournament host that sparked the loudest outcry.
Qatar's weather sat at the forefront of all concerns, with temperatures there in the summer reaching over 110° Fahrenheit (43.33° Celsius), posing a risk for players and other attendees. In its bid, selected over competition from the United States, Australia, Japan, and South Korea, Qatar proposed building five new climate-controlled stadiums. Skeptics immediately questioned the feasibility of that plan and just a few days after it announced the decision, FIFA began entertaining the idea of moving the 2022 tournament to the winter.
Other criticisms focused on the country's poor human-rights records, particularly with regard to discrimination against homosexuals, to which FIFA President Sepp Blatter responded by saying that those concerned should simply "refrain from any sexual activities" while in Qatar. The country's treatment of migrant workers presented another issue, fueled by reports of deaths among Nepalese laborers brought in to help prepare for the tournament.
In late 2013, Qatar again found itself in a negative spotlight over the country's refusal to grant an exit visa to French footballer Zahir Belounis. After trying to leave the country for over two years, Qatar finally allowed Belounis to leave that November.