FIFA sets deadline for Qatar World Cup organisers to improve migrant workers’ conditions

Washington, Jan 31: World football governing body FIFA has reportedly set a tight deadline for the organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to explain how conditions are improving for migrant workers on the various building projects associated with the hosting of football’s showpiece competition.

Concerns over the welfare of migrant workers in Qatar was highlighted by an Amnesty International report last year, which reported on widespread abuse, leading to FIFA president Sepp Blatter to describe the conditions as ‘unacceptable’ and raise the issue with the Emir of Qatar on a visit to Doha last November.

According to CNN, FIFA is demanding a ‘detailed report’ by February 12 with ‘information on specific steps’ being taken to improve the situation and FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke wrote to Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Thursday to request the assurances.

The report mentioned that FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger, who has been given the responsibility to monitor any progress, has held a series of meeting with human rights and labor organizations, including Amnesty and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The executive committee will also receive an update at its March 20 and 21 meeting and a FIFA statement said that the board believes in the power of the World Cup in triggering positive social change in Qatar, including improving the labour rights and conditions of migrant workers.

Since Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup it has been dogged by various controversies, with FIFA still to decide on an actual date for the competition, although the body’s official position is that a final decision will be made in December 2014, the report added. (ANI)