Arsène Wenger voices concerns about Qatar’s Kafala system

Legendary manager urges FIFA to put pressure on the Qatar government to address system

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Arsène Wenger, manager of Arsenal Football Club, has added his voice to growing concerns about conditions for migrant workers in Qatar, ahead of the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

In a report by The Guardian, the legendary manager urged FIFA to put pressure on the Qatari government to address the controversial ‘Kafala’ system, which ties workers to their sponsors.

Human rights groups have condemned the system, which monitors the construction and domestic migrant labourers in the country. The system requires all unskilled labourers to have an in-country sponsor, usually their employers, who is responsible for their visa and legal status.

Concerns have been raised that employers could exploit their workers by taking away their passports and get away with human rights abuses with little legal repercussions.

“FIFA has made an investigation and hopefully will sort that out,” Wenger said during a pre-match press conference. “It is down to FIFA to make those rules changed.”

Wenger added that he was mindful of the living and working conditions of labourers in the country, and said that he was aware that the problems with the exit visas, which are controlled by the companies sponsoring the workers, had been discussed at the highest levels of government.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament passed an emergency resolution condemning the ‘Kafala’ system, while an Amnesty International report, which highlighted the issues, was also released, increasing the pressure on the Gulf state.

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