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Give Qatar A Red Card For World Cup

Friday, January 31, 2014

Unless There Is A Marked Improvement In Workers Rights FIFA Should Be Showing Qatar The Red Card For The 2022 World Cup Says GMB

In the field of human rights and industrial relations FIFA can only conclude that Qatar is still well offside and shows no sign of understanding the rules of the game says GMB.

GMB commented on the announcement (on January 30th) by FIFA that it asking for a new report on working conditions for construction of the 2022 World Cup facilities in Qatar by Feb12th 2014. See notes to editors for FIFA media statement.

Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer who was on the trade union fact finding delegation to Qatar in November, said "GMB welcome this latest announcement that Qatar will provide FIFA by 12 February 2014 with a detailed report on the improvement of working conditions.

However in the field of human rights and industrial relations FIFA can only conclude that Qatar is still well offside and shows no sign of understanding the rules of the game.

Unless Qatar shows a marked improvement very quickly, FIFA should be showing the red card as far as 2022 is concerned."

End

Contact GMB Bert Schouwenburg 07974 251 764 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823 or ITUC Media Contact Gemma Swart +32 479 06 41 63 (gemma.swart@ituc-csi.org)

Notes to editors

Media statement issued on FIFA.com on Thursday 30 January 2014

FIFA requests update on working conditions in Qatar

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in Qatar shall provide FIFA by 12 February 2014 with a detailed report on the improvement of working conditions in Qatar. This was communicated today by FIFA in a letter from Secretary General Jérôme Valcke to those responsible in Qatar. The report will then be used to prepare for the hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels on 13 February 2014, which will be attended by Dr. Theo Zwanziger as the FIFA representative mandated to deal with this matter.

FIFA expects to receive information on the specific steps that Qatar has taken since FIFA President Blatter’s last trip to Doha in November 2013 to improve the welfare and living conditions of migrant workers.

In December 2013, the FIFA Executive Committee renewed the FIFA President’s mandate to continue discussions on the issue of labour rights in Qatar with different stakeholders, beginning with the definition of responsibilities to the various parties involved (the state of Qatar, companies operating in Qatar, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Trade Union Confederation and FIFA). In this regard, Dr. Zwanziger has on behalf of FIFA held various meetings with human rights and labour organisations in recent weeks, including Amnesty International and the ILO, in order to strengthen the dialogue between various interest groups and to reach a sanctioned approach.

The application of international norms of behaviour is a FIFA principle and part of all of FIFA’s activities, and is expected from all hosts of its events. FIFA firmly believes in the power that the FIFA World Cup™ can have in triggering positive social change in Qatar, including improving the labour rights and conditions of migrant workers.

“We are currently in the middle of an intensive process, which is exclusively aimed at improving the situation of workers in Qatar,” says Dr Zwanziger. This process will continue after 13 February and will culminate in a report to be delivered to the FIFA Executive Committee at its meeting on 20 and 21 March. “Ultimately, what we need are clear rules and steps that will build trust and ensure that the situation, which is unacceptable at the moment, improves in a sustainable manner."

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