ZURICH: World football federation FIFA has welcomed steps announced by Qatar in the area of workers’ rights.

The adoption of Law No. 18 of 2020 reportedly removes the need for migrant workers to obtain their employer’s permission to change jobs while also establishing, for the first time in the region, a non-discriminatory minimum wage.

The International Labour Organization (ILO), which played a crucial role in bringing about change, has stated that the law “effectively dismantles the ‘kafala’ sponsorship system and marks the beginning of a new era for the Qatari labour market.”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “We sincerely congratulate the state of Qatar on this significant step. Since the FIFA World Cup 2022 was awarded to Qatar, there has been a major collective effort from the local authorities, our partner the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and the ILO to bring about positive change, and we are really pleased to see that this has materialised into concrete major progress in the area of workers’ rights.”

He added: “Well before kick-off, this important milestone demonstrates the capacity of the FIFA World Cup to foster positive change and build a lasting legacy.

“There is definitely still room for further progress, and we will continue to work closely with the authorities and all stakeholders to promote a progressive agenda that should be of long-term benefit to all workers in Qatar, whether involved in the preparation of the event or not.”

FIFA said the new law had also been acknowledged by other international organisations such as the International Trade Union Confederation, Amnesty International and the Centre for Sport & Human Rights.