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Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, left, and Sheika Mozah bint Nasser al-Misned hold the World Cup trophy as FIFA President Joseph Blatter, right, applauds after the announcement of Qatar hosting the Finals.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, left, and Sheika Mozah bint Nasser al-Misned hold the World Cup trophy as FIFA President Joseph Blatter, right, applauds after the announcement of Qatar hosting the Finals.
Image: Michael Probst/AP/Press Association Images

Football bosses told to worry about Qatar workers - and not just players

A recent investigation found that dozens of migrant labourers have died in workplace accidents.
Sep 26th 2013, 10:08 PM 10,776 39

IT HAS BEEN controversy and problem after controversy and problem since Qatar was revealed as the host of the 2022 World Cup.

The latest scandal to hit the kingdom emerged yesterday with revelations about the abuse of construction workers building the stadiums and infrastructure.

In light of an investigation by The Guardian – which found that dozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses – the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called on footballing bosses to intervene.

General Secretary of the ICTU, David Begg, has written to his counterpart in the FAI, John Delaney, urging him to ensure respect for the rights of workers in the run up to the tournament.

He asked Delaney to raise the concerns at the next meeting of the FIFA Exectuive Committee next week.

Specifically, he has asked the FAI, as a member of FIFA, to:

Revisit the bid conditions of the Qatar 2022 World Cup to ensure respect for human rights of migrant workers in Qatar in line with the International Labour Organisation’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Members gathering on 3 and 4 October are due to discuss the impact of Qatar’s extreme summer temperatures on players.

Earlier this month, European football bosses agreed that a summer tournament cannot take place in Qatar. They supported a proposal for the Finals to be played off during the winter months.

“We would like to remind FIFA that the 1.2 million migrant workers in Qatar are forced to work in these conditions….extreme temperatures and lack of protection … cause an average of at least one death in the construction sector every day,” wrote Begg.

A record number of (migrant) Nepalese workers – 32 – died in the searing heat of July this year….many were young men in their twenties.

“People should not have to pay with their lives for the World Cup to be a sporting and commercial success….Despite more than two years of dialogue with and entreaty to the Qatar authorities, no substantive steps have been taken by them to guarantee the fundamental rights enshrined in international law,” he continued.

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Sinead O'Carroll

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