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Monday, June 21, 2021

FIFA postpones decision on Qatar 2022 World Cup shift until 2014

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The world’s governing football body has decided to table the issue of rescheduling Qatar’s 2022 World Cup from the searing summer months to the cooler winter months, saying it will revisit the issue after the 2014 games in Brazil.

Following a meeting of executive committee members in Zurich, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said on Twitter today:

Alluding to growing international outrage over migrant worker abuses in Qatar, he added that he has been tasked with meeting the country’s new Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to discuss the findings of today’s meeting.

“FIFA cannot interfere with the labour rights of any country, but we cannot ignore them,” he said.

Meanwhile, FIFA has appointed a task force to look into the rescheduling of the World Cup, and discuss the matter with all stakeholders.

The committee will be led by Asian Football Confederation president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who has been a rare voice of support for Qatar amid calls to rerun the vote.

In August, Al Khalifa, who beat Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi for a seat on FIFA’s executive committee earlier this year, said, ”We are sure that Qatar will make Asia proud.”

Criticism

Responding to the outcome of the meeting, the International Trade Union Confederation criticized FIFA’s response to concerns about human rights abuses in Qatar.

In a statement released on Friday, General Secretary Sharan Burrow said:

“Qatar’s damage limitation exercise will not resolve the problem of forced labour in Qatar. The promise to recruit inspectors to police defective laws which cannot even be enforced under their kefala migration system will not stop workers dying in Qatar. Nor will engaging a law firm for an ‘independent review’ make any real difference.”

“The settlement of this global dispute is dependent on actions by FIFA and the political will of the Qatari authorities, which are still absent. FIFA’s offer is an insult to the bereaved families.”

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of FIFA

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