Friday, November 25

The European Parliament asks Qatar to investigate the deaths of workers and accuses FIFA of “seriously” damaging football

The European Parliament accuses FIFA of “seriously damaging the image and integrity of world football”. And it asks Qatar to respect human rights and an “exhaustive investigation” of the deaths of migrant workers in the country in the construction of the infrastructures for the competition, which according to some journalistic information rise to 6,500 people.

The resolution of the European Parliament approved this Thursday, after an initiative by the French MEP Manon Aubry (France Insoumise / The Left) for a vote, “highlights that the EU is committed to supporting human rights in its relations with Qatar, including issues raised in the context of the FIFA World Cup; expresses concern about reports that hundreds of thousands of migrant workers still face discriminatory laws and practices in Qatar; she laments the lack of transparency and the lack of responsible risk assessment that characterized the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar in 2010; recalls his view that corruption within FIFA is rampant, systemic and deep-seated, and continues to believe that the organization has seriously damaged the image and integrity of world football, despite attempts to reform it, such as introducing requirements of human rights”.

The approved text, agreed upon by popular, liberal, socialist and ultra-conservative groups, “recognizes the important contribution of migrant workers to the Qatari economy and to the 2022 World Cup; urges the Qatari authorities to carry out a full investigation into the death of the migrant workers; supports Qatar’s efforts to improve their labor conditions and rights, which the international community has raised; calls for the full implementation of the reforms that have been adopted; welcomes Qatar’s cooperation with the ILO; calls on Qatar to continue working with the ILO on the reforms; underlines that corporate responsibility, even for European companies, requires respect for workers’ rights and the same level of due diligence required in the EU”.

The motion also states that “FIFA awarded Qatar the World Cup without exercising human rights or environmental due diligence or setting conditions for the protection of migrant workers” and that Qatar “won the bid process World Cup amid credible allegations of bribery and corruption that led to judicial investigations.

Likewise, the MEPs highlight that the Qatar Penal Code “punishes extramarital sexual relations, including relations between people of the same sex, with up to seven years in prison”, includes “arbitrary arrests of LGBTQ + people, without charge or trial during a maximum of six months if “there are probable reasons to believe that the defendant may have committed a crime,” including “violation of public morality,” notes that a World Cup ambassador “publicly shared a homophobic statement”; underlines that “seven football federations, including European ones, have decided that their players can wear a OneLove rainbow-coloured armband; that, however, FIFA decided that players can receive a yellow card or be sent off for wearing that armband, because it is an alleged political statement.

The resolution, however, also has a nod to Qatar, recognizing “that Qatar is an important partner of the EU”, and “that Qatar has a key role to play in the implementation of the European energy security strategy”.

“The commitment between the EU and Qatar has intensified significantly, which has led to the opening of an EU delegation in Doha in 2022,” says the resolution, which also recalls that Qatar “co-sponsored a General Assembly resolution Nations conference in February 2022 calling on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine and voted in favor of resolutions condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), several European companies, such as Carrefour, Banyan Tree, Fairmont Movenpick Pullman, Acciona, Qantum, Keolis, RATP and Technip, which are physically present in Qatar, have refused to participate in joint committees to bring together representatives of management and workers to discuss, prevent and resolve conflicts in the workplace. In addition, it is reported that the Dutch company Core Laboratories does not pay the salaries of some employees.

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