Human Rights group Amnesty International has urged world football governing body, FIFA, to put pressure on Qatar over human rights abuses.
The body claims there are gross abuses at many of the workplaces putting up the 2022 World Cup stadiums.
Citing the Khalifa International Stadium, they argued that workers are forced to live in squalid accommodation, pay huge recruitment fees and have had wages withheld and passports confiscated.
The job conditions are very hard. It is very hot in Qatar. Fifty degrees in the shade in the Summer is not a joke.
“The job conditions are very hard. It is very hot in Qatar. Fifty degrees in the shade in the Summer is not a joke. The security conditions are not satisfactory either. They have to work long hours, up to 16 hours a day and six days a week. Then they are taken to their districts, some of which are degrading; that has also been in the media.”
Officials have responded, saying they are working to reduce these kinds of abuses.
Some 132 workers were interviewed by Amnesty at the Khalifa stadium, a vast sporting complex in Doha that is part of a $200 billion construction boom in the gas-rich Gulf state.
FIFA’s new leadership has been under pressure to ensure Qatar acts right amidst growing protest over how the Gulf nation has conducted itself.
The Human Rights group has said it is trusting FIFA to urge government authorities in Qatar to take adequate action.
“FIFA has not reacted to it (the report) yet and we hope that things are getting better now. Maybe now with the new leader, with the new (FIFA) president, maybe the Qatari government is being approached and the organisational committee has to be involved, then we hope that this will lead to some changes. But up until now the Qatari government was apathetic and the FIFA not interested in that.”
Qatar won the bid in 2010. It has spent billions of dollars trying to justify its readiness for the games.