DOHA: Qatar 2022 has hit back at the latest criticism from Amnesty International over migrant workers’ conditions at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.
The Khalifa stadium is being redeveloped unlike all the other venues which are new.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the the organisation responsible for Qatar 2022 and ultimately for stadium construction, described the report as “misleading.”
In a statement it said: “The tone of Amnesty International’s latest assertions paint a misleading picture and do nothing to contribute to our efforts.
“We have always maintained this FIFA World Cup will act as a catalyst for change – it will not be built on the back of exploited workers. We wholly reject any notion that Qatar is unfit to host the Fifa World Cup.”
The SC highlighted that Amnesty International’s investigation was limited to only four companies out of more than 40 engaged at Khalifa – Eversendai, Seven Hills, Blue Bay and Nakheel Landscapes.
It added: “In June 2015 – seven months before Amnesty contacted us – Nakheel Landscapes had undergone a comprehensive rectification process, and are one of the most compliant companies on site.
“Eversendai, although having gone through a significant rectification process, has been banned from subsequent FIFA World Cup projects until it can demonstrate sustainable improvements.
“Seven Hills and Blue Bay have not worked on FIFA World Cup projects since June 2015 and are no longer eligible to work on future projects, until they demonstrate they are compliant with our Workers’ Welfare Standards.”
FIFA issued its own statement.
Federico Addiechi, its head of sustainability, said: “We are fully aware of the risks facing construction workers in Qatar and we are confident that the measures taken by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy are the appropriate ones and have already improved the situation for migrant workers working on Fifa World Cup construction sites.
“We closely monitor developments and address issues through our regular contact with the Supreme Committee.
“We have also met with a number of key stakeholders to discuss the best way forward. Of course many challenges remain, but we are on the right track and committed to continue improving, to further contribute to the protection of workers’ rights at the Fifa World Cup stadium projects.”
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