Migrant workers “no better than slaves” have suffered over 900 deaths on construction sites in Qatar’s 2022 World Cup city. Claims the world’s richest country per capita won its bid due to corruption have led to calls to rerun the vote. Join the campaign for migrant workers’ justice.
Qatar has an increasing number of its estimated 1.8 million foreigners now working on projects related to complete major construction and infrastructure projects before the World Cup. In 2009 Amnesty International reported that migrant workers, who make up a large proportion of Qatar’s workforce, were exposed to, and inadequately protected against, abuses and exploitation by employers. Women migrant domestic workers were particularly at risk of exploitation and abuses such as beatings, rape and other sexual violence. Some 20,000 workers were reported to have fled from their employers in 2007 alone due to delays in or non-payment of their wages, excessive hours and poor working conditions.
But this didn't stop FIFA awarding the 2022 World Cup to this Persian Gulf Emirate of majestic new high-rises, sprawling universities and elegant museums - and blistering heat - beating the United States in a 14-8 vote in the decisive round. The appropriateness of this decision can only be measured by calls to rerun the vote by leading former FIFA insider Alexandra Wrage, following allegations that former vice-president Jack Warner received payments from ex-Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam. Current Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger has also described it as a "blatant mistake."
Warner and Mohamed Bin Hammam's Fifa careers ended in disgrace after they were caught up in a corruption scandal surrounding Bin Hammam's campaign for the presidency of the world governing body in 2011.
A Conservative MP who is campaigning for reform of the world governing body said Fifa should rerun the bid for the 2022 World Cup if an FBI investigation proves corrupt payments were made in connection with the vote. Damian Collins, who used parliamentary privilege in 2011 to state allegations that two Fifa members had been paid to vote for Qatar 2022, said: "If the FBI investigation can prove that corrupt payments were made to Fifa executives in connection to the decision to award that country the World Cup, they should lose the right to host the tournament and the competition to stage World Cup 2022 should be rerun."