FIFA president Gianni Infantino is to set up an independent body to monitor the welfare of workers involved in the building of World Cup stadia.
A damning report from Amnesty International last month accused world football’s governing body and Qatar authorities of overlooking what they alleged to be the “appalling treatment” of migrant workers working at the venues for the 2022 finals.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy for the tournament insists it is “committed to ensuring the welfare of all workers on our projects”, while FIFA stated their confidence in the Committee’s processes, though the Qatar government stated they would further investigate certain allegations in Amnesty’s report.
Infantino attempted to shift culpability from FIFA for the alleged mistreatment of workers earlier this month, stating that the organisation “cannot escape situations that occur internally”.
However, with Infantino having visited Qatar’s construction sites this week and spoken with the Supreme Committee, FIFA says a new body will be implemented to monitor the welfare practices.
“FIFA president Gianni Infantino today announced the creation of an oversight body with independent members to monitor the systems in place to ensure decent working conditions at FIFA World Cup stadiums,” a statement said on Friday.
“With this initiative, FIFA will step up its efforts in overseeing the set-up by the Supreme Committee. The composition of this new body, which will be led by FIFA, should include relevant sectors of civil society and other relevant FIFA stakeholders to oversee all FIFA competitions
“The hosting of the FIFA World Cup is an opportunity to set a benchmark in terms of sustainable and fair conditions for all workers in Qatar. In connection with the 2022 event, this body will validate the quality and effectiveness of the due diligence processes in place, will analyse the regular findings of the independent auditing system, the remediation measures taken by the Supreme Committee to address any issues and report about findings, recommendations and progress, with the aim of increasing transparency around this important topic.”
Infantino said: “Over the last few weeks I have been following very closely the discussions on FIFA and human rights, particularly around the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
“I have seen the measures taken by the Supreme Committee and I am confident that we are on the right track. An encouraging example is the Supreme Committee’s response to issues that have occurred, such as the ones raised by Amnesty International in its latest report, which were already tackled by the Supreme Committee prior to the release of the report. This shows that the mechanisms in place are working related to FIFA World Cup construction although challenges remain.”