FIFA World Cup and the Plight of Migrant Workers

Since Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, numerous allegations of corruption and human rights abuses have been associated with the country’s preparations for the tournament.

There have been reports of several migrant workers dying due to their work. On Thursday, FIFA confirmed that one more worker had died, raising concerns about how safe and humane the working conditions at these resorts are.

“FIFA is deeply saddened by this tragedy and our thoughts and sympathies are with the worker’s family,” CNN was informed by a spokesperson for the football governing organization.

“As soon as FIFA was made aware of the accident, we contacted the local authorities to request more details.

“FIFA will be in a position to comment further once the relevant processes in relation to the worker’s passing have been completed.” (Mngqosini, 2022)

This news is just another reminder that much needs to be done before Qatar can provide a safe and inclusive environment for everyone involved in hosting the FIFA World Cup.

The Qatari government must urgently address safety and labor issues faced by construction workers, implement measures to protect women from abuse, and ensure all residents have access to adequate healthcare facilities.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) of Qatar made the following statements to CNN:

“Due to the incident referred to having taken place on property not under the jurisdiction of the SC, and the deceased working as a contractor not under the remit of the SC, this matter is being handled by the relevant government authorities.

“The SC is following up with the same relevant authorities to ensure we are updated with developments pertaining to the investigation on a regular basis and has established contact with the family of the deceased to ensure relevant information is conveyed, ” the SC added. (Mngqosini, 2022)

Additionally, effective monitoring systems need to be implemented to address abuses when they occur promptly. Authorities are investigating the incident, according to a Qatari government official.

If the investigation concludes that safety protocols were not followed, the company will be subject to legal action and severe financial penalties,” the official said.

Nasser Al Khater, the chief executive of Qatar 2022 World Cup, told Reuters reporters on Thursday that “death is a natural part of life” in answer to a query regarding the most recent death of a migrant worker. However, he did not elaborate on the facts surrounding this tragedy.

“We’re in the middle of a World Cup. And we have a successful World Cup. And this is something you want to talk about right now?” Al Khater said.

“I mean, death is a natural part of life, whether it’s at work, whether it’s in your sleep. Of course, a worker died. Our condolences go to his family. However, I mean, it is strange that this is something you want to focus on as your first question.”

Hosting an event of this scale brings immense responsibility – both financial and ethical – which Qatar has thus far failed to live up to its end of the bargain. If things don’t change soon, many more lives may be lost to make way for stadiums intended solely for wealthy tourists’ enjoyment.

Migrant workers account for over 90 percent of Qatar’s population, and many are employed in construction-related jobs in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

While there have been numerous reports of poor labor conditions and worker exploitation until recently, little was known about the actual number of migrant workers who had died as a result of preparations for the World Cup.

Hassan Al-Thawed, Secretary General of the SC, stated that between 400 and 500 migrant workers have perished due to work on projects related to the tournament in an interview with Piers Morgan that aired on TalkTV in November. This is a higher number than Qatari officials have previously stated.

On Thursday, in his interview, Al Khater added: “Look, workers’ death has been a big subject during the world cup. Everything that has been said and everything that has been reflected about workers’ death has been absolutely false.

“This theme, this negativity around the World Cup has been something that we’ve been faced with. We’re a bit disappointed that the journalists have been exacerbating this false narrative.

“And honestly, I think a lot of the journalists have to ask themselves and reflect on why they’ve been trying to bang on about the subject for so long.”

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