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Sun 1 May 2016 11:06 AM

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Worker dies after falling ill at Qatar World Cup stadium site

Qatar said is working to improve worker conditions following a report by Amnesty which outlined abuses suffered by construction workers

Worker dies after falling ill at Qatar World Cup stadium site

An Indian worker has died after being taken ill on one of the Qatar World Cup sites, the organisers have announced.

Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the organisers behind the World Cup 2022 tournament, announced in a statement that a 48-year-old Indian national Jaleshwar Prasad, a steel-worker employed on the Al Bayt Stadium project, died shortly after becoming ill on the site.

“Mr Prasad fell ill on-site around 9.30am on Wednesday, 27 April,” the committee announced in a statement. “He received first aid treatment until paramedics arrived. He was transferred to Al Khor Hospital but sadly passed away around 11.30am. Al Khor Hospital reported the cause of death as cardiac arrest. All relevant authorities were notified and a full investigation is underway.”

The committee said the family of Mr Prasad were immediately informed of the tragedy.

“The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy offers all necessary support to Mr Prasad's family. Our prayers and heart-felt condolences are with them at such a difficult time,” it said.

The 60,000-seat Al Bayt Stadium will be used to host World Cup 2022 semi-final.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy has vowed to improve worker safety amid criticism from international human rights bodies like Amnesty.

Amnesty reported on abuses in Qatar's preparations for the World Cup in a wide-ranging report four weeks ago based on the accounts of 132 workers at the sites. It found construction workers from Nepal and India had been charged recruitment fees and housed in squalid conditions.

Last month Qatar announced the appointment of Impactt Ltd, an independent third party monitoring firm, which will audit the welfare of labourers working on construction projects.

During a visit to Doha last week, the head of soccer's world governing body FIFA, Gianni Infantino, urged Qatar to hasten improvements in safety and labour conditions for builders working on sites for the 2022 World Cup.

"I acknowledge very much the efforts which are being done. I want to see these efforts now being put in practice," Infantino, elected as president of the scandal-plagued federation in February, told reporters. "Of course we will not just sit and wait.

"FIFA will step up its efforts in overseeing....in order to ensure the protection of the workers' rights in the construction of the FIFA World Cup sites is fulfilled"

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