Qatar responded to criticism and fixed work conditions of migrants

DOHA (Parliament Politics Magazine) – After delivering a critical statement at the FIFA Congress in Doha, Hassan Al Thawadi, the senior organiser of the Qatar World Cup, accused Lise Klaveness, the Norway FA President of neglecting to educate herself on the country’s human rights record.

Klaveness addressed the platform during the 72nd FIFA Congress to protest FIFA’s 2010 decision for awarding the Gulf State this year’s World Cup, before addressing a number of subjects, including the migrant workers’ treatment and LGBTQ+ worries about visiting Qatar for the finals in November.

In 2010, FIFA awarded the World Cup in inexcusable ways, with inexcusable consequences, Klaveness stated.

Human rights, equality, and democracy, football’s essential values, had not been included in the starting XI until many years later. Outside voices pushed for these essential rights to be used as a substitute. FIFA had now addressed those concerns, but there was still much work to be done.

Migrant workers who had been hurt or whose loved ones had perished in the build-up to the World Cup should have been looked after. FIFA, and all of them, needed to take all necessary steps to bring about true change.

Employers who did not ensure the independence and safety of World Cup workers had no place in this world.

There was no room for leaders who were unable to host the women’s game. There was no room for hosts who couldn’t lawfully ensure the safety and respect of LGBTQ+ individuals visiting that dream theatre, Klaveness said in her speech.

Jorge Salomon, head of the Honduras Football Association, spoke soon after Klaveness, claiming that “it is not the place” to debate such problems.

The chief executive of the World Cup Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Thawadi, then used his platform to highlight the country’s achievements, including the abolition of the kafala system (a sponsorship system that gave private citizens in several Arab Gulf countries near total control over employment and immigration status of migrant workers) and the minimum wage introduction for workers.

He said she came to their country without asking for a meeting, he said. Prior to speaking before Congress, she made no attempt to contact us or to engage in discussion.

He implored everyone to engage in dialogue; they had always been open to it. They had always welcomed constructive criticism based on dialogue, comprehension of the concerns, comprehension of the context of the issues, and progress of the facts on the ground.

Their doors would always be open to anyone who wanted to learn more about the issues and educate themselves before passing judgement, he added.

On that note, he wanted to inform themselves, and the Norwegian Federation, and everyone else who has questions about this World Cup’s legacy, that this World Cup was creating a legacy. They were establishing a legacy even before the ball was even kicked. Qatar’s reforms had been dubbed “historic” by the International Labour Organisation.

The International Trade Union Confederation regarded Qatar’s new rules as a regional benchmark.  Safety standards on World Cup sites had been compared to those in North America and Europe by the Building and Woodworkers’ International, he concluded.

Kourtney Spak

Kourtney Spak is an american journalist and political commentator. Her journalism career focuses on American domestic policy and also foreign affairs. She also writes on environment, climate change and economy.