FIFA will set up a panel to oversee working conditions at 2022 World Cup construction sites in Qatar in a bid to allay growing human rights concerns, President Gianni Infantino announced on an inspection visit to the Gulf nation.
In his first working trip to the country, Infantino revealed the group would include “relevant sectors of civil society and other relevant FIFA stakeholders”.
The establishment of the panel comes amid continued criticism from Amnesty International, which published a damning report into alleged labour abuses at the Khalifa International Stadium and other venues over the treatment of migrant workers building infrastructure for the tournament last month.
“Concluding his two-day visit to Qatar, Infantino on Friday announced the creation of an oversight body with independent members to monitor the systems in place to ensure decent working conditions at FIFA World Cup stadiums,” a FIFA statement read.
The build-up to the event in six years’ time has been littered with suggestions by Amnesty International that FIFA and Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy have persistently done little to address “rampant migrant labour abuse”.
It came after the publication of high death toll figures among migrant workers, with it claimed as many as 1,200 may have died since 2010.
Following the release of the Amnesty International study, entitled The ugly side of the beautiful game: Labour exploitation on a Qatar 2022 World Cup venue, an independent report written by John Ruggie – a professor at Harvard Kennedy School in Massachusetts and one of the world’s foremost human rights experts – was released.
It made 25 recommendations to FIFA, including that tournaments already awarded should be moved to different host countries if human rights abuses continued.