Qatar has come under intense criticism in the lead-up to the 2022 World Cup, amid reports that new stadiums and luxury hotels are being constructed under labor conditions that amount to modern-day slavery. Nepalese workers, who comprise about 20 percent of Qatar's migrant labor force, were dying at a rate of one every two days as of late last year, according to The Guardian, often due to extreme heat and poor safety standards. The country's kafala labor system also ties migrant workers to their employers, who can confiscate passports and withhold pay as they see fit. Last week, The Guardian reported that many Nepalese workers were denied leave to attend funerals held after a massive earthquake struck their home country last month.
The revelations have spurred some to pressure World Cup corporate sponsors to take a stronger stand. Coca-Cola, Visa, and Adidas have publicly expressed concern over the labor practices and have called for reform, though activists fear that mere statements may not do enough to raise broader awareness. To that end, some amateur designers have taken a far bolder tact, reworking the sponsors' logos to more accurately reflect the human costs of the event they're financing.
"Promising Little and delivering less."
The "anti-logos," collected at Bored Panda, take aim at some of the most prominent brands in the world, including Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Budweiser, and Adidas. Some are more effective than others, but they make their intent clear, with slogans like "proud sponsor of human rights abuses of World Cup 2022," and, in the case of Adidas, "impossible is nothing with slave labor."
"Coke's slogan is 'Share Happiness,'" writes the Reddit user who turned Coca-Cola's trademark, curved white logo into two handcuffed arms. "So I made an ad to remind them of the kind of happiness they're sharing in Qatar."
FIFA has also come under pressure to intervene, with some calling for the organization to move the World Cup from Qatar altogether. Those calls will likely only intensify after several high-ranking FIFA officials were arrested this morning in Switzerland on charges of corruption, money laundering, and other offenses levied by the US Department of Justice, though the organization has already said it has no plans to move either the 2022 or 2018 World Cup, which is to be held in Russia. Swiss authorities have also launched a parallel investigation into the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, on suspicion of "criminal mismanagement."
The Qatari government, meanwhile, has pledged to improve conditions for the 1.5 million migrant workers employed for its World Cup projects, but it appears that little has actually been done. A scathing report last week from Amnesty International accused the country of "promising little and delivering less."