DOHA: Qatar 2022 World Cup organisers have revealed they are ‘appalled’ at the research gathered from an investigation into the treatment of migrant workers in the country.
A dossier compiled by the international trades union movement (ITUC) and reportedly widely in the European media has claimed that Nepalese workers faced exploitation and died at a rate of almost one a day during this summer in Qatar, where temperatures can reach 50C. At least 44 workers died between June 4 and August 8, many from heart attacks or heart failure.
The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said while construction directly related to the World Cup had yet to start it was committed to providing proper treatment for workers.
A statement said: “Like everyone viewing the video and images, and reading the accompanying texts, we are appalled by the findings presented in The Guardian’s report. There is no excuse for any worker in Qatar, or anywhere else, to be treated in this manner.
“The health, safety, well-being and dignity of every worker that contributes to staging the 2022 FIFA World Cup is of the utmost importance to our committee and we are committed to ensuring that the event serves as a catalyst toward creating sustainable improvements to the lives of all workers in Qatar.”
The Qatari government has begun investigating into the allegations.
The statement continued: “We firmly believe that all workers engaged on our projects, and those of the other infrastructure developers in Qatar, have a right to be treated in a manner that ensures at all times their wellbeing, safety, security, and dignity.
“This is our top priority as we begin to deliver on the promises made in our bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.”
FIFA ‘very concerned’
World federation FIFA has also stated it is ‘very concerned’ about the findings.
Its own statement said: “FIFA is very concerned about the reports presented by the media regarding labour rights’ abuses and the conditions for construction workers in projects at Lusail City, Qatar.
“FIFA will again get in contact with the Qatari authorities and the matter will also be discussed at the executive committee meeting.”
** Nepal has recalled its ambassador, Maya Kumari Sharma, from Qatar after she was quoted by The Guardian comparing the Gulf state to an “open jail” for thousands of the country’s migrant workers. She made the remarks orginally six months ago to the BBC Nepali service.