FIFA to put pressure on Qatar over human rights

DUBAI:  FIFA will continue to “put pressure” on Qatar about the treatment of migrant labourers building World Cup stadiums in the Gulf Arab country for the 2022 tournament, its President said yesterday.

The world football governing body in the past admitted it was slow to act over concerns about the abuse of labourers in Qatar. It has since said human rights would be factored in to future World Cup host bids and on April 22 announced plans for a special group to monitor working conditions.

Positive progress had been made “in terms of the treatment of workers” but more needed to be done, Gianni Infantino told reporters at a sports conference. “We will put pressure, we will continue to do that.”

Qatar is spending billions of dollars on infrastructure related to hosting the World Cup in 2022 and has imported hundreds of thousands of construction workers from countries such as India, Nepal and Bangladesh for building projects.

Qatar has announced some changes including replacing its controversial “kafala” or sponsorship system that forces foreign workers to seek their employer’s consent to change jobs or leave the country.

Infantino said the 2022 tournament was an opportunity to highlight issues that might have been ignored. – Reuters

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