REVEALED: Qatar is sending World Cup immigrant workers out of the country early and placing them on five months of unpaid leave so they are not visible … prompting Amnesty International to call on the FA to act
- Qatar to send migrant workers out of the country next August
- They will be placed in five months of unpaid work before the World Cup
- Amnesty International has urged the FA to help fight for greater protection
Qatar is sending immigrant World Cup workers out of the country early and placing them on five months of unpaid leave so they are not visible during the tournament.
Dozens of construction workers, interviewed as part of a Mail on Sunday investigation into Qatar’s preparation for the World Cup, which begins a year next week, have been told they must leave next August. That has left many fearful of how they will repay the ‘exorbitant’ loans they took to buy the right to work in the country.
Amnesty International said our findings were cause for concern and urged the FA to pressure Qatar to provide greater protection for migrant workers.
Amnesty International has called on the FA to pressure Qatar to offer great support to the workers
May Romanos, Amnesty Gulf Migrant Rights Researcher, said: ‘We are concerned about reports suggesting that many migrant workers are being asked to leave the country before the start of the 2022 World Cup.
“We know that many workers tend to pay thousands of dollars in exorbitant and illegal hiring fees to secure their jobs in Qatar and obtain high-interest loans to pay for them. Those who will be forced to leave the country possibly before having paid their loans will find themselves in huge debts.
“The FA, as part of the UEFA Task Force on Workers’ Rights in Qatar, should pressure Qatar to urgently strengthen protections for migrant workers, financially compensate all workers and investigate unexplained deaths.”
Qatar’s Supreme Delivery and Legacy Committee, which is coordinating preparations for the World Cup, said it did not oversee any decision on the departure of the workers and directed us to the Government of Qatar. The government did not respond to our request for comment.
Concerns arise as England is on the brink of qualifying for next year’s tournament, requiring just one point from tomorrow night’s game in humble San Marino.
Immigrant workers have been told to leave the country next August before the World Cup begins.
Chelsea Women’s Captain Magda Eriksson on Saturday urged the players to denounce human rights violations in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
The Swedish international, who is gay, said: ‘The most important thing we footballers can do is talk about the situation there, for the sake of workers who have not had a voice. When teams like England qualify for the World Cup, I would sincerely encourage them to speak up if they want to say something. That way, at least something good could come out of this. ‘
A spokesperson for the FA said: “We believe there is evidence of substantial progress on the part of Qatar in relation to workers’ rights, however we recognize that much remains to be done. Our view remains that change is best accomplished by working collaboratively with others. ”
Chelsea captain Magda Eriksson has urged the players to report human rights violations in Qatar.
Migrant workers working at the World Cup have developed kidney disease that medical experts linked to dehydration on construction sites in Qatar, The Sunday Times reported.
A study of workers who had returned home to Nepal found that a “significant number” had developed problems so severe that they required transplants or dialysis.
More than a dozen doctors and public health experts were interviewed. They said that a fifth of dialysis patients in Nepal were workers who had returned from the Gulf.