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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Qatar remains silent over British construction worker’s death at World Cup stadium

Zac Cox, 40, was killed in January when he fell 40m from a platform at Doha’s Khalifa Stadium

Zac Cox was killed in January at the Khalifa Stadium, one of the key venues for the 2022 World Cup. Jason Reed/Reuters
Zac Cox was killed in January at the Khalifa Stadium, one of the key venues for the 2022 World Cup. Jason Reed/Reuters

Ten months on from the death of a British man who was working on the construction of one of Qatar’s stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, there has still been no official reaction or recognition from the country’s authorities or the building firm involved.

Zac Cox, a 40-year-old ‘rope specialist’ was working as a subcontractor for a German company, Pfeifer, who were themselves sub-contracting for Midmac-Six Construct, a Qatari-Belgian joint venture. He was killed in January when he fell 40m from a platform at Doha’s Khalifa Stadium.

Initial investigations took place by the construction firms and by the Qatar Supreme Committee and were promised to report back in March. The Mail on Sunday reported in June this year that the two investigations had reached differing conclusions on what had caused Mr Cox’s death, and about who was liable for it.

Since then the family of Mr Cox, led by his two sisters-in-law, Ella Joseph and Hazel Mayes, have been met with silence when they have contacted the firms and the Qatari authorities.

Ms Joseph told The Guardian newspaper: “Ten months on, we still don’t have an official account of why our brother-in-law died and who was responsible. We’ve had no assurance that a horrific incident like this won’t happen again.”

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The British coroner who will lead the inquest into Mr Cox’s death has also blasted Qatar. Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said: “It has proved almost impossible to get information. We find ourselves in a most unsatisfactory situation for everyone. If it had been in this country, state agencies would have been investigating his death.

The Qatar 2022 World Cup campaign has been dogged by controversy since the country was named surprisingly as the hosts. There have been allegations of corruption in the voting process, and the NGO Human Rights Watch estimates that more than 300 people have died, although this figure has been denied by the Qatari authorities.

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