Amnesty urges FIFA to compensate World Cup migrant workers

Qatar has come under severe scrutiny from human rights groups over the migrant issue in the run-up to the tournament, which runs from November 20 to December 18. Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Less than ten days to go before kick-off, World Cup host Qatar and Zurich-based FIFA continue to face intense criticism from human rights groups and observers over the Gulf state’s treatment of migrant workers and its human rights record.

This content was published on November 11, 2022 minutes

On Friday, Amnesty International again urged FIFA President Gianni Infantino to pay financial compensation to migrant workers who built the World Cup stadiums in Qatar.

In an opinion piece published in the French daily Le Monde, Amnesty and 24 other NGOs called on football’s world governing body to remedy the "abuses" they say workers from the Indian sub-continent and Africa have suffered.

"In the midst of this growing clamour, the most crucial voice of all has remained conspicuously silent: that of Gianni Infantino," lamented Amnesty International secretary general Agnès Callamard.

The FIFA president recently angered human rights groups by telling the 32 nations participating in the tournament, taking place from November 20-December 18, to "focus on football". The Swiss also urged the teams to stop "giving moral lessons".

Last year, Qatar's government denied claims in a report by human rights organisation Amnesty International that thousands of migrant workers were being trapped and exploited. FIFA has said that “regular independent inspections" have been carried out on Qatari construction sites by the Building and Woodworkers International Union (BWI).

Spectator boycott?

In a separate interview on Friday in CH Media newspapers, Lucerne ethics professor Peter G. Kirchschläger called for a spectator boycott of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“If you have understood that something is ethically wrong, you should adjust your own actions accordingly,” he told the CH Media group.

Kirchschläger also attacked Switzerland for not taking its responsibility for Zurich-based FIFA. The Swiss authorities do nothing against human rights violations abroad by corporations and organisations headquartered in Switzerland, said the ethics professor.

“Switzerland knows what FIFA is doing and should intervene accordingly,” said Kirchschläger.

Last week, Qatar's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said people calling for a boycott of the World Cup in Qatar were from a handful of countries that do not represent the rest of the world which is looking forward to the tournament.

"The reasons given for boycotting the World Cup do not add up. There is a lot of hypocrisy in these attacks, which ignore all that we have achieved," Sheikh Mohammed told Le Monde.

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