London, March 31 (IANS) The human rights organisation Amnesty International (AI) on Thursday issued a new report alleging the exploitation of migrant workers who work on football stadiums in preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
The Amnesty report, titled ‘The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game: Exploitation of Migrant Workers on a Qatar 2022 World Cup site’, harshly criticised the global football governing body FIFA for its “shocking indifference to the appalling treatment of migrant workers” in Qatar, reports Efe.
In a statement released from its London headquarters, the Amnesty said that the report was made after meeting with 132 migrants working on the construction site of the Khalifa International Stadium, a venue that is expected to be completed in six years.
“The abuse of migrant workers is a stain on the conscience of world football. For players and fans, a World Cup stadium is a place of dreams. For some of the workers who spoke to us, it can feel like a living nightmare,” said AI secretary general Salil Shetty.
“Despite five years of promises, FIFA has failed almost completely to stop the World Cup being built on human rights abuses.”
In Qatar, AI talked with migrant workers from countries such as Bangladesh, India and Nepal, between February and May last year.
All migrant workers reported living in subhuman conditions with squalid accommodations and without basic rights, the lack of permits to enter or leave the country or to change their employer, while they have their passports and identity documents taken away and are paid a pittance.
The organisation called on FIFA’s major sponsors like Adidas, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, to use their influence to deal with the situation of migrant workers in the Khalifa Stadium, whose human rights have been abused and on FIFA to develop a programme to avoid possible abuses in future projects of the soccer World Cup.