FIFA again slammed by human rights campaigners
The FIFA World Cup final falls on International Migrants Day
FIFA has drawn fresh condemnation from human rights watchdogs ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final between France and Argentina, which coincides with International Migrants Day.
Gianni Infantino, president of world football’s governing body, on Friday praised what he called the “best World Cup ever” amid continued criticism of the event for the alleged mistreatment of migrant workers in the Gulf state in the years before the first ball was kicked.
Various human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have called upon FIFA to safeguard the rights of migrant workers in Qatar and compensate the families of any workers who may have been injured of even killed while building the tournament infrastructure.
“However good the football has often been, the tournament has come at a heavy cost for hundreds of thousands of workers who have paid illegal recruitment fees, had wages stolen or even lost their lives,” Amnesty International’s head of economic and social justice Steve Cockburn told CNN.
“We are still waiting for FIFA and Qatar to commit to ensuring remedy for everyone who made this World Cup possible,” he added.
Minky Worden of Human Rights Watch also said it appeared that FIFA was more concerned with placating the host nation than defending the migrant workers upon whose shoulders the tournament was built.
“FIFA has a human rights policy with clear rules protecting human rights but far too often, FIFA sided with its wealthy partner Qatar against the most vulnerable,” Worden said.
“This World Cup in Qatar will indeed be remembered, for all the wrong reasons: as the most expensive sporting event ever – and the most deadly.”
Qatar, meanwhile, has rejected accusations that migrant workers were abused during preparations for the World Cup, and stressed that they introduced new labor laws to protect workers’ rights.
They also maintain that widely reported estimates of workers’ deaths and injuries are inaccurate.