Having visited labor camps near Doha, Quatar capital, an international federation of trade unions released a report chronicling the labor and human rights abuses unfolding in the country of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Taking into consideration data obtained from the Indian and Nepalese embassies, the International Trade Union Confederation calculated that up to 4,000 more workers could die before the world’s popular tournamentship gets underway in eight years if the workforce grows as expected.
The group named the host country a place with only “a facade of government,” and said that impoverished migrant workers are kept in squalid conditions while beholden to employers who control their identification cards and exit visas.
Working in “unbelievable heat” six days a week, foreign workers are now dying in “unprecedented numbers,” the report’s authors claim.
“Grown men said they were treated like animals, living like horses in a stable,” the report states. “Tragically a small number of Qatari power brokers have chosen to build the trappings of a modern economy off the backs of exploited and enslaved workers.”
The report comes after Amnesty International’s call for FIFA to address the apparent human rights abuses during the construction of Quatar 2022.
An Amnesty representative revealed to reporters that FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, was “involved” in the mess “whether it likes it or not.”
Last fall, the Guardian released an investigative report showing the incredibly high rates of Nepali construction workers’ deaths. At least 44 workers died, half of them from heart attacks, between June 4 and Aug. 8.
The report also showed that many people who are responsible for the World Cup’s infrastructure aren’t even supplied with enough food and water.
On Friday, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that the organization bears “some responsibility” for the squalid working conditions but came up short of saying it would intervene.
“We have some responsibility but we cannot interfere in the rights of workers,” Blatter said. “We are insisting that the responsibilities lie first with the state of Qatar and secondly with the companies employing the workers.”
The FIFA president added that he hoped FIFA “can help resolve this problem through football.”
The news comes a few days after another scandal connected to Quatar 2022 surfaced.
A series of documents show a senior Fifa official was paid by a company controlled by a former Qatari football official shortly after the country won its bid for the 2022 World Cup.
A senior Fifa official and his family were reportedly about $2 million (£1.2m) from a Qatari firm which was linked to the country’s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup.
Jack Warner, who previously occupied the post of Fifa vice-president, according to sources familiar with the matter, was paid paid $1.2 million (£720,000) from a company controlled by a former Qatari football official shortly after the country received the right to host the tournament.
Payments totalling almost $750,000 (£450,000) were made to Mr Warner’s sons, documents obtained by some media show. A further $400,000 (£240,000) was paid to one of his employees.
“It is understood that the FBI is now investigating Trinidad-based Mr Warner and his alleged links to the Qatari bid, and that the former Fifa official’s eldest son, who lives in Miami, has been helping the inquiry as a co-operating witness,” The Telegraph reports.
The awarding of the 2022 World Cup to country appeared to be one the most controversial in the history of this tournament, with many experts arguing that the summer heat in the desert nation has raised the prospect of the event being moved to the winter for the first time.