Amnesty International and other rights organizations have urged FIFA to put aside $440 million to compensate migrant workers in Qatar for “human rights violations” committed during the 2022 World Cup preparations.
The organisations stated in a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino that the international soccer governing body should engage with the host countries to ensure migrant workers’ rights in the future.
“The organizations called on FIFA to at least match the $440 million it gives out in prize money during the World Cup to redress the litany of injustices perpetrated since 2010, when FIFA awarded hosting rights to Qatar without demanding any improvement in labor conditions,” Amnesty said in a statement.
Amnesty International’s Reality Check 2021 assessment found that abuses including withholding pay and charging workers to change employment were common.
The Qatari government, which denies the allegations, claims to have implemented a number of reforms in the previous five years, including a new national minimum salary and the elimination of exit permits.
“Qatar has made unquestionable progress. The Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund, set up by the government to pay workers, has already distributed 110 million pounds ($136.37 million) in the last two years “In a statement to the media, the labor ministry stated.
“Much of the goodwill that has been created is undercut by the current study. Engagement usually produces greater outcomes than condemnation, even when unreasonable demands are made.”
FIFA responded by saying it was evaluating Amnesty’s proposal and putting in place a “exceptional due diligence approach in respect to the protection of employees engaged.”
Workers have received payments totaling $22.6 million as of December 2021, with an additional $5.7 million pledged by contractors, as part of the Supreme Committee’s endeavor to assure reimbursement of recruiting costs, it added.
The World Cup will take place from November 21 through December 18.