x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Qatar World Cup 2022 organisers pledge to protect workers

Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee draws up a workers’ charter after football’s governing body demanded action following the reported deaths of 185 Nepalese construction workers last year.

LONDON // Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee has drawn up a workers’ charter after football’s governing body demanded action following the reported deaths of 185 Nepalese construction workers last year.

The 50-page document released by the Supreme Committee sets out standards on pay, housing, health and safety and other principles which it says contractors must adhere to.

Fifa last month gave Qatar two weeks to submit a report on working conditions so that it could prepare for a European Parliament hearing on Thursday on the subject.

Contractors will be required to set up bank accounts for workers so Qatari officials can keep track of pay, and housing will be monitored for hygiene and cramped conditions, the committee said on Tuesday in an e-mailed statement. Rules will be enforced by outside auditors and made public.

Germany’s Theo Zwanziger will be Fifa’s representative at the meeting in Brussels. He said in last month’s statement that Qatar needed to provide “clear rules and steps that will build trust and ensure that the situation, which is unacceptable at the moment, improves in a sustainable manner.”

The process will continue after Thursday, Zwanziger said, and culminate in a report to be presented to his fellow Fifa executive committee members on March 20 and 21.

The Guardian newspaper said last month that the Pravasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee counted 185 deaths by using government figures as well as death certificates. In the past two years, at least 382 workers from Nepal have died, the newspaper said.

Qatar won the right to host the tournament three years ago.

* Bloomberg