According to a statement published by a Swiss regulatory agency on Wednesday, FIFA, the global governing body of soccer, has made incorrect and misleading assertions regarding the reduced environmental effect of the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in Qatar.
Following an investigation into five complaints that Zurich-based FIFA misrepresented the event as being carbon neutral, the Swiss Fairness Commission came to its conclusion. The Swiss Fairness Commission serves as the self-regulatory organization for the advertising and communications business.
In the future, the panel, which only offers recommendations and not legally binding decisions, suggested that FIFA refrain from making statements that are not supported by evidence. According to what it indicated, complainants often willingly adopt its advice.
A request for comment was sent to FIFA, but they did not react right away.
According to the commission’s findings, complainants from Switzerland, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands alleged that FIFA made misleading representations regarding carbon neutrality during the World Cup in its communications.
“The Second Chamber of the Commission has now upheld all five complaints following a complex process,” it stated at the end of the statement.
FIFA stated that it was dedicated to lowering and offsetting the amount of carbon emissions that were created by the Qatar World Cup and touted the tournament as the first entirely climate neutral competition.
However, the Climate Alliance, a network of organisations that initiated the complaint a year ago, was concerned about the impact on the environment that the building of air-conditioned stadiums and the travel of thousands of spectators to the tournament would have.
In its ruling, the panel stated that it should not be claimed that sustainability goals have been attained if there are no concrete and generally acknowledged means for monitoring them or for verifying that measures have been implemented. This was the conclusion of the commission.
“FIFA was not able to provide proof that the claims were accurate during the proceedings as required by the commission,” it stated in the statement.