Qatar World Cup: Amnesty calls on Fifa to set up £350m fund for migrant workers

Image credit: The Telegraph

Fifa has been urged to set up a compensation fund worth at least $440 million (£350 million) for migrant workers who have been subjected to “human rights abuses” while working on World Cup preparations in Qatar.

Amnesty International requested in a letter to Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

The letter states, “The tournament cannot be truly appreciated unless all workers are reimbursed.”

The projected amount is comparable to the prize money budget for the World Cup in 2022.

The construction of seven stadiums for the finals, as well as a new airport, metro, and roads are expected to employ up to 30,000 migrant workers in Qatar.

Amnesty International has urged Fifa to assist workers who have not only died or been injured but also those who have had their earnings withheld by employers or who have been forced to pay recruiting fees to find work.

According to Amnesty International’s UK chief executive, Sacha Deshmukh, the England team, manager Gareth Southgate, and the Football Association have a role to play in forcing Fifa to act.

“Thousands of migrant workers have been exploited, and many have regrettably perished,” he said.

“While nothing can put the dignity of people caught in situations comparable to modern-day slavery during Qatar’s World Cup construction boom back to life, establishing a Fifa workers’ fund would be a huge step.”

Fifa said it was studying Amnesty’s proposed programme and was already working on compensation measures with the organising committee.

The organisers of the World Cup in Qatar also declared that they have “worked tirelessly” with international organisations to ensure the rights of workers in stadiums and other event infrastructure.

A spokesman for the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy claimed, “Significant changes have been made across accommodation standards, health and safety legislation, grievance mechanisms, healthcare provision, and restitution of illegal recruitment fees to workers.”

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