FIFA president says Emir of Qatar has personally promised improvements ahead of 2022 football tournament
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said more work needs to be done to improve conditions for construction workers in Qatar, despite some progress having been made as the Gulf state prepares for the 2022 World Cup.
“It is encouraging to hear the emir’s personal commitment to workers’ welfare and to get a sense of the improvements planned for all the workers in Qatar,” Blatter said in a FIFA statement, following a meeting with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Blatter acknowledged that progress had been made, including standards relating to the 2022 World Cup construction sites implemented by the local World Cup organisation committee.
However, Qatar has been widely criticised for the harsh treatment of migrant workers in the construction industry and Blatter was quick to highlight that.
“More must be done in Qatar to ensure uniformly fair working conditions for all,” he added.
World football’s governing body has also been criticised for not ensuring the protection of the workers involved in the World Cup construction projects.
Despite Qatar announcing labour reforms in May 2014, the International Trade Union Confideration (IUTC) and Amnesty International claim that what has been done to ensure the workers’ safety is not adequate.
A DLA Piper report released in April 2014 showed that at least 964 workers from Nepal, India and Bangladesh died while working in Qatar between the years of 2013 and 2014.
FIFA’s executive committee has promised to discuss working conditions in Qatar at its next meeting in Zurich.