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FIFA meets with members to discuss human rights concerns ahead of Qatar World Cup

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FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - UEFA Congress - Beurs van Berlage Conference Centre, Amsterdam, Netherlands - March 3, 2020 FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the UEFA Congress REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2021. 3:57 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The world governing body of football FIFA said it met on Tuesday with member associations concerned about the human rights and welfare of workers building the stadia and facilities for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, Reuters reported.

British newspaper Guardian reported in February that at least 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar over the last ten years while working on the facilities which will be used to host the 2022 World Cup.

FIFA granted Qatar the right to host the 2022 World Cup ten years ago.

Recently players from Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway have protested the human rights situation in Qatar by wearing shirts expressing their concerns before World Cup qualifying matches.

“I very much welcome the constructive engagement with our member associations on this important topic,” Infantino said in a statement.

“We know there is still work to be done, but we need to recognize the significant progress achieved in a very short time, thanks to the commitment of the highest authorities in the country, and to ensure that any debate on this complex matter should be based on verified facts,” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

Secretary General of Qatar’s organizing body, Hassan Al Thawadi, told the member associations at the meeting that Qatar has made “significant progress” through a labour reform programme that was introduced when Qatar was awarded the tournament in 2010.

Infantino said that it was very important that the member associations are satisfied with the labour reforms that Al Thawadi referred to and that have “benefitted tens of thousands of workers across Qatar”.

Reuters said the meeting also saw presentations from human rights organizations and workers unions with direct knowledge of the Qatar situation made presentations at the FIFA meeting.

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