Tell FIFA President Gianni Infantino to stop foul play in Qatar
Since Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, hundreds of thousands of workers have been brought to the country to help get it ready. Qatar’s bid promised not just new stadia, but massive redevelopment of the whole country, with the World Cup final scheduled to take place in a city that hasn’t even been built yet.
The 2022 is on track to be the most expensive ever held, but it’s the human cost that is most staggering. Qatar’s laws mean its foreign workers – of which there are more than two million – are unable to leave the country or change jobs without the permission of their bosses. If their employers exploit or endanger their lives but refuse to let them leave, workers have no choice but to keep working or face destitution and detention.
The combination of a lack of fundamental rights and a legal system skewed against workers is putting thousands of lives at risk. The International TUC predicts that 7,000 migrant workers will die across all projects in Qatar before the World Cup. They go on to say:
“Migrant workers are dying and getting injured in Qatar in the lead up to the FIFA 2022 World Cup. That fact is beyond doubt. What’s harder to say exactly is the number of work-related fatalities, injuries, and illness, due to the Qatari government’s refusal to publish statistics or allow independent investigations into the reasons why a thousand fit young migrant workers are dying each year.”
This year, FIFA commissioned advice from former UN human rights specialist John Ruggie, who published his advice independently after FIFA had been accused of whitewashing previous investigations. One of his recommendations is that FIFA use its leverage to compel current hosts, including Qatar, to respect internationally recognised human rights and that, if they do not, it should consider “suspending or terminating the relationship”.
FIFA has accepted many of Ruggie’s recommendations for the future, but President Infantino has ruled out moving the 2022 tournament, in effect letting Qatar know that it can continue with business as usual. We know in Qatar that this means many lives will be lost and human rights denied.
Mr Infantino must urgently reconsider his position on Qatar and agree to use all of FIFA’s considerable leverage – up to and including the threat of moving the tournament - to make sure the 2022 World Cup is not responsible for the deaths of hundreds or even thousands of people.
Football would ultimately be nothing without its fans, and pressure we exert on its international leadership will be noticed. This campaign is backing others being run around the world - let's show FIFA that UK football wants Qatar to play fair.