FIFA to help unions tackle Qatar on labor rights
FIFA is pledging to help improve the rights of migrant workers
building stadiums in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup following threats
by international labor leaders to disrupt construction plans.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke met Thursday with
International Trade Union Confederations officials and agreed to
raise their concerns in the Gulf emirate.
”It was agreed that FIFA and ITUC will work jointly over the
next few months to address labor issues with the Qatari
authorities,” Valcke said in a statement. ”As the world governing
body of the most popular sport we have a responsibility that goes
beyond the development of football and the organization of our
Valcke said FIFA will require future World Cup bidders to
respect labor issues. The next bidding contest is likely in 2018 to
choose the 2026 host.
Qatar’s social and moral traditions, as well as its searing
summer heat, have been scrutinized about their suitability for a
World Cup host since it won a stunning victory in a FIFA vote last
December. The gas-rich nation beat the United States, Australia,
South Korea and Japan.
The ITUC, which says it represents 175 million workers in 153
countries, had warned FIFA it would disrupt work in Qatar if rights
are not respected.
ITUC leader Sharan Burrow said ahead of the FIFA headquarters
meeting that migrant laborers in Qatar often work in unsafe
”FIFA has the power to make labor rights a requirement of the
Qatari authorities who are hosting a World Cup,” Burrow said.
Qatar is building nine stadiums and huge infrastructure projects
costing tens of billions of dollars in the next 10 years.