Search icon


28th Sep 2022

Qatar and Manchester City win ‘bad sport’ award for greenwashing

Callum Boyle

A greenwashing campaign group were behind the awards

A greenwashing campaign group has awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and Manchester City a ‘Bad Sport’ award.

The World Cup won the Overall Bad Sport Award 2022 for its “dubious carbon neutrality claims” as well as its partnership with Qatar Energy.

In May, a report from the Carbon Market Watch claimed that “creative accounting” was required to reach the “misleading” goal of achieving carbon neutrality.

Responding to the report, a spokesperson from Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) told The Athletic that the country remains “on track to hosting a carbon-neutral World Cup.”

They also added that they remain deeply engaged with their “citizens to ensure a sustainable legacy is left behind after a FIFA World Cup.”

“The emissions that will be unavoidable while preparing for and hosting the tournament will be offset through investing in internationally recognised and certified carbon credits.”

Man City meanwhile won the Own Goal Award for creating a flawed sustainability strategy, where the club offered their fans air miles in exchange for returning plastic bottles used on match day.

The campaign was set up by Badvertising, a group seeking “to stop adverts fuelling the climate emergency.”

Andrew Simms, who is a member of the campaign, explained to The Athletic: “Sport was once a major billboard for tobacco advertising and sponsorship. But cigarettes were bad for athletes and bad for the people who watched sport.

“Tobacco ads and sponsors were dropped even though there were complaints, delays and excuses. Today major polluters use sport to promote themselves, and with the climate we depend on at stake, we need to stop the greenwash and sportswash and get the big polluters out of sport.”

Related links: