DOHA: Amnesty International, a fierce critic of FIFA over its approach to the issue of workers’ rights in Qatar, has welcomed the world football federation’s creation of a new oversight body for the 2022 World Cup host.

The commission’s launch was announced in Doha by FIFA president Gianni Infantino on his first visit to the Gulf state since his election in succession to Sepp Blatter in February.

Mustafa Qadri, Amnesty’s Gulf migrants rights researcher said:  “Finally it appears FIFA is waking up to the fact that unless it takes concrete action, the Qatar 2022 World Cup will be built on the blood, sweat and tears of migrant workers.

“The announcement of an oversight body and Infantino’s admission that FIFA must take human rights seriously are welcome steps in the right direction.

“Amnesty has already exposed human rights abuses on the Khalifa stadium and the surrounding Aspire Green Zone which need addressing right now. These cases also demonstrate the need to ensure FIFA’s human rights monitoring is not limited just to stadiums but includes all other activities linked to the tournament.” 

Separately Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, considered the FIFA move could be “an important step forward to ending the abuse of Qatar’s migrant workforce as the pace of construction accelerates to meet the 2022 deadline.”