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FIFA call for Qatar update

FIFA have requested an update on conditions in Qatar in response to ongoing concerns about workers’ welfare ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) slammed the abuses suffered by workers, responsible for building stadiums and infrastructure ahead of the World Cup in the Arab state, in a damning report released in November.

AI stated that employees were forced to live in “squalid, overcrowded accommodation” and cited the fact that many are not permitted by their employer to leave the country as a cause of “severe psychological distress,” adding that “some are driven to the brink of suicide”.

Sepp Blatter, FIFA president, visited Qatar in November and football’s governing body have requested another update on conditions in the country.

FIFA communicated their request on Thursday and expect a response from the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in Qatar by February 12.

“We are currently in the middle of an intensive process, which is exclusively aimed at improving the situation of workers in Qatar,” FIFA representative Dr Theo Zwanziger said.

“Ultimately, what we need are clear rules and steps that will build trust and ensure that the situation, which is unacceptable at the moment, improves in a sustainable manner.”

Zwanziger is the nominated representative who is dealing with this issue on behalf of FIFA.

AI told Perform in November that they would not relent in their pressure on FIFA and relevant authorities as they sought to improve conditions.

“We are going to be campaigning on this issue. We are going to be raising these issues and we are not going to let it drop,” an AI spokesman said.

“We won’t let the pressure drop in terms of the government of Qatar, the business communities who are involved in the construction industry, and FIFA themselves.

“The World Cup being held in Qatar ought to be a catalyst for change. If you are going to hold an event like this in Qatar, then this is the moment to bring in these new standards as the world is watching.

“So use the international scrutiny, use the spotlight and use it to your benefit. At the moment, the spotlight is really just bringing criticism to Qatar. That will be our focus. To push all the players involved in this to do the right thing.”

Thu 30 January, 2014
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