World Cup 2022 in Qatar: Amnesty International asks FIFA to compensate workers

World Cup 2022 in Qatar: Amnesty International asks FIFA to compensate workers

Two months before the opening of the World Cup in Qatar (from November 20 to December 18), Amnesty International does not relax its footprint in FIFA. In a survey conducted in 15 countries (in Europe, the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Morocco and Kenya) on behalf of the non-governmental organization (NGO) and published on Thursday, September 15, a clear majority of respondents (73% ) say that they are in favor of the creation of a compensation fund by the International Football Federation, “workers who suffered during the preparation of the tournament”. A proportion that rises to 84% among those surveyed who say they will watch at least one game of the competition.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Qatar 2022 World Cup: Amnesty International points out the “responsibilities” of FIFA in the “abuses” of human rights

“The results of this survey are a clear message for football leaders. (…) FIFA still has time to do the right thingSteve Cockburn, head of Amnesty’s social and economic justice programme, said in a news release. Fans don’t want a tainted World Cup (…) through human rights violations. »

The gas-rich emirate is regularly denounced by NGOs for the treatment reserved for the hundreds of thousands of workers who have come from Asia, in particular, in the main construction sites linked to the World Cup. Some 6,500 workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka died during the construction of stadiums, roads and hotels, etc., according to an investigation by the British daily guardian published in February 2021.

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Doha and the governing body of world football insist, for their part, on the progress made. In a statement sent to Agence France-Presse, FIFA “take notes” of this survey and insists on “The measures put in place in recent years by [elle] and its partners in Qatar to protect workers”. “Workers have been compensated in various ways when companies have failed to meet welfare standards” of the supreme organizing committee of the 2022 World Cup, assures the governing body of world football.

In an interview with the weekly Point published on Wednesday night, the Emir of Qatar admitted having “a problem with work on construction sites” and claims to have taken “strong measures in record time”. “We have changed the law and we punish whoever mistreats an employee; we have opened our doors to NGOs and cooperate with them. We are proud of it”says Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

More and more voices are raised

The survey commissioned by Amnesty International echoes a call launched in May by a coalition of human rights organisations, fan groups and trade unions – the #PayUpFIFA campaign – to demand that FIFA pay at least $440 million (approximately the same amount in euros) to the workers who worked on the various World Cup construction sites. According to this same coalition, FIFA could obtain up to 6,000 million dollars in revenue from the competition.

Workers on a construction site in May 2022 in Doha.

Conducted among more than 17,000 adults, the opinion poll published on Thursday also shows that more than two-thirds of respondents (73% in France) want national soccer federations. “speak publicly about human rights cases” as part of the 2022 World Cup. Until now, the French Football Federation (FFF) has always refused to comment on this highly controversial issue. Noël Le Graet, the president of “3F”, said to himself “very happy that we come to play in Qatar” during the tournament draw, on 1Ahem April in Doha.

In recent weeks, many voices have been raised against the organization of the World Cup in Qatar. In France, after actor Vincent Lindonformer soccer player Eric Cantona said on Wednesday, September 14, in a social media postthat he would not watch any matches of the tournament, preferring instead “redo all Colombo episodes”. The day before, the newspaper The meeting diary He decided, “in the name of their values”to boycott the competition, and became the first French media outlet to take such a stand.

Abroad, too, the mobilization does not seem to decline. The Norwegian Football Federation had organized a debate in June 2021 on a possible boycott -finally rejected by internal vote- of the Qatar tournament. The president of the Norwegian Federation was also quick to recall, a few months later, during a FIFA congress, the sprains of the emirate in terms of human rights.

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And last month, it was the president of the organizing committee for Euro 2024 in Germany, former Mannschaft player Philipp Lahm, who announced in August that he would not travel to the emirate, arguing that “the rights of man [devaient] play a bigger role in adjudicating a tournament.”.

Amnesty International does not call for a boycott of the 2022 World Cup. But the NGO published, on September 12, through its French branch, a documentary, The exploited of Qatardenouncing “Unworthy working and living conditions” migrant workers at the various World Cup venues.

The world with AFP

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