DOHA/ZURICH: FIFA President Blatter today (15 March 2015) paid a visit to His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, ahead of the Executive Committee meeting taking place next week in Zurich. During the meeting at the Al Bahr Palace, HH the Emir of Qatar provided an update on the country’s preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the development of football in the region and the ongoing labour-rights reform efforts which aim to ensure the welfare of migrant workers. Within this context, the FIFA President also discussed with the Emir mechanisms in Qatar to ensure the welfare and rights of all workers. A further discussion point was the envisaged move of the 2022 FIFA World Cup staging period to November/December, as well as other related matters.
Following the meeting, President Blatter had this to say: “It was important for me to have an opportunity to get the latest information directly from the highest political authority, ahead of the Executive Committee meeting next week. It is encouraging to hear the Emir’s personal commitment to workers’ welfare and to get a sense of the improvements planned for all workers in Qatar. As various human-rights groups have recently noted, progress has been made already, especially with regard to the standards introduced by the Supreme Committee relating to 2022 construction sites, but more must be done in Qatar to ensure uniformly fair working conditions for all. This will only be possible through the collective effort of all stakeholders – from the construction companies to the authorities. It is clear that Qatar takes its responsibility as host seriously and sees the FIFA World Cup as a catalyst for positive social change.”
The meeting was also attended by HH Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Personal Representative of HH the Emir.