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Thursday, November 30, 2023

FIFA must pay Amnesty $440 million in compensation for exploitation of the World Cup in Qatar


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According to Amnesty International, FIFA should provide at least $440 million in compensation for the migrant workers who were exploited in the run-up to the World Cup in Qatar. The human rights organization makes that call in a new report . Football associations such as the KNVB are asked to publicly support this

The amount of 440 million dollars is equal to the prize money that FIFA awards to countries that participate in the World Cup. “To end the continued exploitation since 2010, when FIFA awarded Qatar the World Cup without demanding any improvement in workers’ protection, human rights groups are calling on FIFA to release at least an equal amount for a recovery program.”

That money is not only needed for compensation costs, but also for initiatives to protect workers’ rights in the future. According to Amnesty, the amount will ultimately be higher, because money is also needed for, for example, paying back wages arrears and high mandatory recruitment costs that workers had to pay to be allowed to work in Qatar.

FIFA will earn about $6 billion from the World Cup in Qatar.

Amnesty states that FIFA knew or should have known about the risks to workers, who had to build new stadiums and hotels, for example, when Qatar was chosen as the host country of the tournament in 2010. “Nevertheless, no conditions were imposed on workers’ protection. Since then, FIFA has done far too little to prevent or mitigate those risks,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty’s secretary-general.

According to Amnesty, FIFA has looked away from the human rights violations that took place during the preparations for the World Cup and therefore contributed to “the widespread exploitation of migrant workers involved in World Cup-related projects, and not just in the construction of stadiums and hotels.”

The World Cup in Qatar, which starts on November 21, has been under fire since the beginning. In a report published last August, Amnesty said that in recent years, thousands of migrant workers have died in Qatar during the construction of World Cup facilities, due to long working days in unsafe working conditions and extreme heat. The Guardian’s investigation last year spoke of at least 6,500 deaths, mainly from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

The government in Qatar never properly investigated this, while many deaths could have been prevented, according to Amnesty.

“While it may be too late to erase the suffering of past abuse, FIFA and Qatar can and should redress and prevent further exploitation,” Callamard said.

“Providing compensation to workers who have given so much to make the tournament possible, and steps to ensure such abuses never happen again, could be a major turning point in FIFA’s commitment to respecting human rights. “

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