By Andy Sambidge
FIFA president says he is confident solutions will be found, adds that 'football will be the winner'
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said he is confident that issues regarding working conditions for labourers in Qatar can be resolved ahead of the World Cup being held in the Gulf state in 2022.
Speaking after the FIFA Executive Committee held its fourth and final meeting of the year in Brazil on Thursday, Blatter insisted "football will be the winner".
"I am sure at the end of the day that football will be the winner. At the end of the day we will show the world that we can create good working conditions. If there is a will, there is a way. And we have the will. I will find these solutions," he told reporters.
He added that companies operating in Qatar had to take responsibility for improving conditions for their workers.
"The operating companies in Qatar have to assume responsibilities for their workers. Now we need to make sure that the pleas of the unions will be implemented," Blatter said.
"Now we have to work together to move forward and make adequate to take steps to help Qatar to organise this competition and the people who work there."
His comments come after the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) claimed earlier this week that working conditions in Qatar are not improving in the face of growing outcry from human rights organisations and political pressure.
Describing the environment as “squalid”, the ITUC said it had found “no improvement in living and working conditions” for migrant labourers.
A number of international organisations have pressured Qatar to improve the lot of foreign workers, many of whom come from the Subcontinent, amid allegations of abuse, late or non-payment of wages, and inadequate accommodation.
Complaints have come from bodies ranging from football’s FIFA to the European parliament.
In an earlier report, lobbyist group Amnesty International said that migrant workers in Qatar are treated like “cattle” in some cases, with the Gulf state’s construction sector rife with abuse as it begins work on the stadia that will host the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
One may have the impression that "vowing" Herr Blatter is still to wake up in his ebony palace in Zurich.
How and why does Blatter think he can change the lot of labourers in Qatar? What is he going to do? Withdraw the tornament from them if they don't? These are things they should have been considering when the had a bid in front of them, not several years after placing it. The man is a fool. Qatar will do what it wants to do in its own time, and nothing that man says will change it