Top Qatari official puts worker deaths for World Cup ‘between 400 and 500’



Issued on:

A top Qatari official involved in the country’s World Cup organization has put the number of worker deaths for the tournament “between 400 and 500” for the first time, a drastically higher number than any other previously offered by Doha.

The comment by Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary-general of Qatar‘s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, appeared to come off the cuff during an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan.

It also threatened to reinvigorate criticism by human rights groups over the toll of hosting the Middle East’s first World Cup for the migrant labor that built over $200 billion worth of stadiums, metro lines and new infrastructure needed for the tournament.

In the interview, portions of which Morgan posted online, the British journalist asks al-Thawadi: “What is the honest, realistic total do you think of migrant workers who died from – as a result of work they’re doing for the World Cup in totality?”

“The estimate is around 400, between 400 and 500,” al-Thawadi responds. “I don’t have the exact number. That’s something that’s been discussed.”

But that figure hasn’t been discussed publicly by Qatari officials previously. Reports from the Supreme Committee dating from 2014 through the end of 2021 only include the number of deaths of workers involved in building and refurbishing the stadiums now hosting the World Cup.

Those released figures put the total number of deaths at 40. They include 37 from what the Qataris describe as nonwork incidents such as heart attacks and three from workplace incidents. One report also separately lists a worker death from the coronavirus amid the pandemic.

Al-Thawadi pointed to those figures when discussing work just on stadiums in the interview, right before offering the “between 400 to 500” death toll for all the infrastructure for the tournament.

In a later statement, the Supreme Committee said al-Thawadi was referring to “national statistics covering the period of 2014-2020 for all work-related fatalities (414) nationwide in Qatar, covering all sectors and nationalities.”

Since FIFA awarded the tournament to Qatar in 2010, the country has taken some steps to overhaul the country’s employment practices. That includes eliminating its so-called kafala employment system, which tied workers to their employers, who had say over whether they could leave their jobs or even the country.

Qatar also has adopted a minimum monthly wage of 1,000 Qatari riyals ($275) for workers and required food and housing allowances for employees not receiving those benefits directly from their employers. It also has updated its worker safety rules to prevent deaths.

“One death is a death too many. Plain and simple,” al-Thawadi adds in the interview.

Activists have called on Doha to do more, particularly when it comes to ensuring workers receive their salaries on time and are protected from abusive employers.

Al-Thawadi’s comment also renews questions on the veracity of both government and private business reporting on worker injuries and deaths across the Gulf Arab states, whose skyscrapers have been built by laborers from South Asia nations like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“This is just the latest example of Qatar’s inexcusable lack of transparency on the issues of workers’ deaths,” said Nicholas McGeehan of Fairsquare, a London-based group which advocates for migrant workers in the Middle East. “We need proper data and thorough investigations, not vague figures announced through media interviews.

“FIFA and Qatar still have a lot of questions to answer, not least where, when, and how did these men die and did their families receive compensation.”

Mustafa Qadri, the executive director of Equidem Research, a labor consultancy that has published reports on the toll of the construction on migrant laborers, also said he was surprised by al-Thawadi’s remark.

“For him now to come and say there is hundreds, it’s shocking,” he told The Associated Press. “They have no idea what’s going on.”

(AP)



Source link

FIFA World Cup 2022 | Messi magic guides relieved Argentina past Mexico


Argentina’s midfielder Enzo Fernandez celebrates with Lionel Messi after scoring his team’s second goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match in Lusail, north of Doha on November 26.
| Photo Credit: AFP

Sublime strikes by Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez earned Argentina a 2-0 win over feisty Mexico in a pulsating atmosphere at the Lusail Stadium on Saturday and got the South American favourites’ World Cup campaign up and running.

Stunned 2-1 by Saudi Arabia in their opening Group C match, Argentina knew defeat would send them out of the tournament but they started poorly, struggling to cope with Mexico’s high press as Messi was denied time and space to operate.

Argentina’s captain was anonymous in the first half, his sole contribution of note a header that ballooned over the bar, as his team failed to carve out a single decent chance.

But picked out by Angel Di Maria just outside the Mexico box in the 64th minute, Messi made no mistake, arrowing a low shot through a crowd of defenders into the corner. Fernandez doubled the lead in the 87th with a wonderful curling effort.

The win took Argentina up to second place on three points, one behind leaders Poland, who they play in their last group match. Saudi Arabia are third, level on points with Argentina but with an inferior goal difference.





Source link

FIFA World Cup 2022, Tunisia vs Australia Live Score: Australia Hold To Lead In 1st Half, Tunisia Look To Equalise | Football News


FIFA World Cup 2022 Live, Tunisia vs Australia: Mitchell Duke (R) celebrates after scoring the goal.© AFP

Tunisia vs Australia, FIFA World Cup 2022 Live Updates: Australia lead 1-0 vs Tunisia at half-time in the ongoing Group D match at Al Janoub Stadium, Al-Wakrah. Mitchell Duke scored the opening goal of the game through a header. Tunisia are at the second spot in the table after playing a goalless draw against Denmark in their opening game of the FIFA World Cup 2022, while Australia suffered a 4-1 loss to France in their opening game and sit at the bottom spot. (LIVE MATCH-CENTRE)

Starting lineups

Tunisia (5-3-2): Aymen Dahmen; Montassar Talbi, Dylan Bronn, Yassine Meriah, Mohamed Drager, Ali Abdi; Aissa Laidouni, Ellyes Skhiri, Naim Sliti; Issam Jebali, Youssef Msakni (capt)

Australia (4-3-3): Mathew Ryan (capt); Kye Rowles, Fran Karacic, Aziz Behich, Harry Souttar; Aaron Mooy, Riley McGree, Jackson Irvine; Mathew Leckie, Craig Goodwin, Mitchell Duke

Here are the LIVE Score Updates of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Football Match between Tunisia and Australia straight from Al Janoub Stadium, Al-Wakrah:

Featured Video Of The Day

FIFA World Cup 2022: Japan Gear Up To Take On Costa Rica In Group E

Topics mentioned in this article



Source link