India, Nepal workers face ‘slave labor’ if Qatar builds World Cup facilities: Reports
Add possible slave labor issues to FIFA’s mounting woes.
If allegations of fraud, embezzlement, bribery and other questionable behavior weren’t enough, a report contends that over 4,000 migrant construction workers — mostly from India and Nepal — will die in inhumane working conditions if Qatar builds sports facilities to host the World Cup in 2022.
The report on progressive news website thinkprogress.org by Travis Waldron is based on information provided by international labor groups. Similar stories have appeared in recent days in the Guardian and the Washington Post.
Waldron says that similar questions may arise when Russia hosts the 2018 World Cup. Russian law maker Alexander Khinshtein has reportedly proposed using prisoners to build stadiums and manufacture souvenirs.
Qatar will become only the second Middle East/Asian host to soccer’s greatest event since 1930. Japan and South Korea co-hosted the World Cup in 2002. With increasing questions over how Qatar won the World Cup bid, the region might yet lose the 2022 World Cup. But if the games are held in Qatar as planned, Waldron contends that many migrant workers will lose their lives.
Waldron reports: ” Russia’s plans create even more questions for FIFA, international soccer’s governing body, given the problems workers are already facing on construction projects in Qatar, the host of the 2022 World Cup. International labor groups have called attention to inhumane working conditions that border on “modern slavery” there, and estimates based on available figures say that more than 4,000 workers could die on World-Cup related projects in the Gulf state. Qatar has announced labor reforms but has made little progress, according to international activists, and FIFA president Sepp Blatter has deflected criticism about the Qatari World Cup by assigning blame to companies that hire those workers.”