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Saturday, January 22, 2022

FIFA presses Qatar for update on migrant workers’ rights



The world’s football governing body has requested that Qatar send a report detailing its plans to improve the situation of low-income expats here.

The move comes ahead of a European Parliament hearing about troubling labor conditions in the Gulf state. In November 2013, Parliament passed a resolution condemning widespread abuse of Qatar’s working-class, in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup.

That same month,  FIFA President Sepp Blatter visited Qatar, meeting with the Emir to discuss growing international concern over unpaid wages, exploitation and other conditions that have been documented and deplored by the United NationsAmnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, among others.

At the time, Blatter said he received assurances that Qatar was working to improve the situation, by hiring more labor inspectors and commissioning a firm to investigate allegations of abuse.


In a letter sent to the newly renamed Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke said the body expects to receive information about what Qatar has done in the past few months to improve conditions, and its plans for the future, by Feb. 12.

A committee spokesman in Qatar declined to comment.

The information will be used in a presentation to the European Parliament in Brussels on Feb. 13, during which FIFA will be represented by Dr. Theo Zwanziger. Another report will be presented to the FIFA Executive Committee in March.

In a statement, FIFA said:

FIFA firmly believes in the power that the FIFA World Cup can have in triggering positive social change in Qatar, including improving the labour rights and conditions of migrant workers.

“We are currently in the middle of an intensive process, which is exclusively aimed at improving the situation of workers in Qatar,” says Dr. Zwanziger…“Ultimately, what we need are clear rules and steps that will build trust and ensure that the situation, which is unacceptable at the moment, improves in a sustainable manner.”



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