Thousands of migrant workers have been injured or lost their lives to make the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar possible. But the scale of human rights abuses does not end with the lives of these workers, nor does it end in Qatar.
As families at home deal with the impact of losing loved ones, they face an uncertain future without a breadwinner, especially children. Last month, Human Rights Watch reported the repatriation of deceased workers from Qatar to Nepal, where their families were waiting for them.
Faced with this situation, FIFA confirmed this Monday that it “negotiates the creation of a compensation fund for injured migrant workers” in the works of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, while its president Gianni Infantino tried again to guarantee respect for human rights during the tournament.
Questioned at a press conference in Doha, FIFA spokesman Bryan Swanson promised a decision “in due course” on the idea of creating a compensation fund, demanded by humanitarian organizations and supported by sponsors and teams.
World football’s governing body “is in ongoing positive dialogue with the World Labor Organization and the International Trade Union Confederation and all relevant authorities on initiatives that will benefit migrant workers long after the last World Cup match,” Swanson said. .
Under pressure from these organizations and NGOs, the small Gulf emirate has carried out labor reforms in recent years, especially the creation of a compensation fund for workers who did not receive their salaries.
In a video message, Infantino hailed Qatar’s “revolutionary reforms that, over the past few years and for years to come, improve the lives of thousands of workers.”
Responding to concerns about respecting the rights of women and the LGBT+ community during the competition, Infantino insisted that “everyone will be welcome, whatever their origins, their social level, their religion, their gender, their sexual orientation or their nationality”.
This World Cup, in which Qatar has invested tens of billions of dollars and which should receive a million visitors, “will be the best both on and off the pitch,” promised the FIFA president.
Asked about the reasons why the governing body of football does not respond to criticism of human rights coming especially from Europe, the director of World Cup operations, Colin Smith, assured that FIFA has always been “clear” and has bet “for dialogue rather than boycott”.
“We have seen the strength of the World Cup as a catalyst for change in the region,” he continued.
According to Smith, 2.89 million tickets have already been sold out of the 3.2 million available, as well as a record 240,000 that will give their holders access to VIP treatment.
With information from AFP.