A few days before the draw and with the qualifiers still unfinished, a controversial new chapter added the next World Cup. The organization of Qatar 2022 admitted the existence of labor exploitation during the preparations for the maximum football party.
In a statement, those responsible for the FIFA World Cup acknowledged that “three companies did not comply in a number of areas.” “These violations were completely unacceptable and led to the application of a series of measures,” they added.
Avoiding giving details, they assured that the contractors were placed on “a watch list or black list to prevent them from working on future projects.” In addition, they indicated that they requested “further investigation and punitive action” from the Ministry of Labor.
Amnesty International has been reporting multiple cases of violation of the rights of workers in Qatar 2022. Among other complaints of “forced labor”, it stated that security guards worked more than 60 hours a week without days off for months or years.
The director of Amnesty International’s Economic and Social Justice Program, Stephen Cockburn, lamented the helplessness of the workers. “Many security guards knew their employers were breaking the law, but felt powerless to challenge them,” he told Associated Press (AP).
“Physically and emotionally exhausted, they continued to show up for work under the threat of economic sanctions,” he added. According to the director of the NGO, the employers also intimidated them with “termination of the contract or expulsion”.
In Cockburn’s view, abuses in the private security sector remain “systematic and structural.” For the same reason, he called on FIFA to intensify efforts to prevent abuse or “you will see the tournament even more tarnished by abuse.”