Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 September 2019

Qatar World Cup stadium migrant workers paid as little as Dh3.80 an hour

Doha has spent 23.17 billion rial on construction to host the sporting event

The construction at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, which will host the 2022 World Cup. Getty Images
The construction at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, which will host the 2022 World Cup. Getty Images

As many as 28,000 people building seven new stadiums for the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar earn the equivalent of only $1.04 (Dh3.82) an hour, an investigation has revealed.

British newspaper the Daily Mirror travelled to the country and spoke to workers building the football stadiums to find out how little they were paid.

The rate of 3.79 rial (Dh3.82) an hour gives them 750 rial a month for a typical 48-hour week.

Qatar is ranked as the richest country in the world per capita. It spent 23.17 billion rial on building the infrastructure to host the 2022 World Cup, using 28,000 workers to build the seven stadiums, and roads and train lines.

In December 2010, Qatar was selected as the host for the sporting event.

The decision sparked controversy, and it was alleged that members of the Fifa Executive Committee were accepting money in exchange for votes. Two members of the committee had their voting rights suspended after the allegations.

Adding to the controversy was unbearable conditions and human rights abuses, with construction workers often toiling in sweltering and unsanitary conditions.

About 1,200 deaths have been reported among World Cup workers so far, and a report by the International Trade Union Confederation said that if conditions did not improve by the time the event kicked off, at least 4,000 migrant workers will have died.

But organisers said only three fatalities were reported in accidents at construction sites, two of them at Al Wakrah stadium in Doha.

“I am a tiler inside the stadium and help with other work. I earn 900 rial a month,” one worker told the Mirror.

Others said the they did not get paid on time.

Nepalese worker Susil, 33, is helping to build the Metro that will take fans to the ground for the World Cup final.

“Sometimes you do not get paid on time," Susil said. "Or there may be money missing if they do not pay overtime.

"You have to wait a long time for the bus at the end of your shift. It makes your working day even longer.”

Fifa told the newspaper: “We take workers’ rights very seriously. We share the view of human rights organisations that additional progress is needed for the full implementation of comprehensive labour reform by Qatar."

Updated: May 20, 2019 11:15 AM

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