The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), based out of Zurich in Switzerland, misled its fans with false claims that Qatar World Cup would be carbon neutral, the Swiss Fairness Commission (SLK) revealed on June 7, Wednesday. FIFA had earlier mentioned that Qatar World Cup had a footprint of 3.6 million tonnes of carbon waste, which they offset with initiatives like electric mobility for public transport and the planting of gardens around the stadiums, among others.

The SLK, which is the self-regulatory body of the advertising and communications industry, followed an arduous and complex process for assessing the complaints made against FIFA by five European nations. The complainants named in the report are from the UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. 

The commission found out that the governing body of world football broke the rules against unfair competition while stating that their claims about carbon neutrality in Qatar World Cup were unproven. They also concluded that the offsetting measures by FIFA didn’t comply with the standards set by Switzerland's laws.

“FIFA was not able to provide proof that the claims were accurate during the proceedings,” the SLK remarked.  “The SLK has advised FIFA to refrain from making unsubstantiated claims in the future. Particularly the claim that the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar was climate-neutral or carbon-neutral,” the regulator further added. Most importantly, the decision from the SLK is not legally binding, according to reports.

FIFA was also quoted as saying about the matter, “FIFA is fully aware that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time and believes it requires each of us to take immediate and sustainable climate action."

"FIFA is also fully aware of the impacts that mega-events have on the economy, the natural environment and on people and communities, and has been making substantial efforts to tackle those impacts and, at the same time, to use opportunities to maximise the positive effects of its most iconic tournament, including Qatar 2022. It remains committed to continuously improve its approaches in collaboration with key stakeholders.”