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Sat 22 Mar 2014 02:34 AM

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FIFA President plans Qatar visit to discuss labour rights

Sepp Blatter due to hold talks in Gulf state before June to chart progress over labour abuse concerns

FIFA President plans Qatar visit to discuss labour rights
FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter will visit Qatar in the next couple of months to discuss progress on labour issues with authorities.

The head of world football's governing body will hold talks with Qatari officials before FIFA's 2014 Congress in June while a FIFA delegation will also visit the Gulf state to gain a first-hand insight.

The move was announced following the conclusion of a two day meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee held in Zurich.

FIFA Executive Committee member Dr Theo Zwanziger, who has been mandated to coordinate all talks on the issue of labour rights in the 2022 FIFA World Cup host country, said talkss had been held with Qatari authorities, civil society organisations, the International Labour Organisation, trade unions, FIFPro and Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy "to discuss feasible and sustainable solutions".

The Executive approved this approach and expressed its belief that FIFA, though not responsible for any country’s domestic laws, can help improve the situation of labour rights and working conditions in Qatar.

It also agreed that the matter "needed to be constantly and very closely looked at".

"We have some responsibility but we cannot interfere in the rights of workers," FIFA president Sepp Blatter told media at a press conference.

"We are insisting that the responsibilities lie first with the state of Qatar and secondly with the companies employing the workers," Blatter said.

Since September, unions and human rights campaigners have denounced conditions for Qatar's migrant worker population.

Most of the labourers working on the new stadiums and vast infrastructure projects ahead of football's biggest tournament in Qatar are from South Asia.

Qatar has been under fire for its treatment of migrant workers in the construction industry after Britain's Guardian newspaper reported in September that dozens of Nepali labourers had died.

Amnesty International and the International Trade Union Confederation have also criticised the treatment of migrant labourers in Qatar, fearing the problem could worsen with the extra construction work needed for the tournament.

Last month, Qatari World Cup organisers produced a 50-page document outlining stricter measures that would apply to contractors involved in building work for the tournament.

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Rob Mo 6 years ago

Qatar should never have been awarded the rights to host a World Cup given there is no national football league, no international Qatari footballer on the planet and the country has no interest in world football, but moreover, this is all about commercialisation of the tournament for Qatar's sole benefit. The visiting public will be charged excessively for basic food and drink items and hotel prices will be deliberately inflated.

Tony 6 years ago

Rob Mo seems very informed about the commercial objectives, or is it just opinionated bias without any real basis? Just more ranting from the haters instead of constructive comment.

procan 6 years ago

Constructive comment... Qatar in a slave state, fix it.

Neutral 6 years ago

Thanks Tony for the comments. Actually I have big doubt on this website when it reflects news about Qatar! The title of this article calling FIFA president as "Boss", the related topics titles, and I was monitoring other news also; all reflecting negativity with obvious biasing from someone needs Qatar image to be attacked.
The question is who is behind it? this will never answered in this liberally website!

Rob Mo 6 years ago

Response to Tony; I have lived in Qatar for nearly five years and have seen the inflated real estate prices and over-priced alcohol from supply chains back which are designed to line the pockets of the chosen few. It is a fact that the World Cup provides global branding for this country as the Olympics would never happen in Qatar but never say never! I cannot see my self visiting the country to watch football and see the blatant rip-off pricing matrix across the board.