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FIFA won't be setting up fund for migrant workers' compensation, despite huge World Cup earnings

Ryan Sidle

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FIFA won't be setting up fund for migrant workers' compensation, despite huge World Cup earnings

FIFA are set to reject calls from several countries' football associations to earn their huge World Cup earnings into a fund for compensation.

Despite the fact they're currently putting on a very entertaining tournament, something they want to avoid in the next tournament with 48 teams, FIFA aren't having a great time of it.

The world governing body have been criticised for hosting the World Cup in Qatar for the past 12 years, since deciding on the location for both the 2018 and 2022 editions.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has spent the entire time doubling down on the decision, which was made when he wasn't even in the role, from his weird opening speech to claiming he'd happily take the tournament to North Korea.

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It's no wonder then that he even got a booing during some games, with the television directors hell bent on showing the Swiss football administrator whenever possible on the big screen.

Football Associations of some of the competing countries haven't been impressed with Infantino and his organisation, with Denmark even refusing to back the only candidate for the next term of presidency.

Now FIFA have come up with even more reason to annoy certain nations, who brought forward the idea of a compensation fund for migrant workers ahead of the tournament.

According to the i, the world football governing body will reject the calls from football associations and human rights pressure groups to invest in a £360 million fund for the workers in Qatar.

Infantino at a game with Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani. Image: Alamy
Infantino at a game with Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani. Image: Alamy

FIFA are said to be working with International Labour Organisation (ILO), a United Nations agency, in order to build a centre to assist migrant workers.

But they have refused to fund the compensation for workers directly, with the Football Associations and human rights charities calling for them to match the prize money for the tournament in funds.

That's all despite the fact that FIFA are set to make £6.1 billion from their few weeks in the Middle East, all whilst being a non profit organisation.

They will instead leave compensation to the Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund, which was set up by the Qatari government in 2018.

That has reportedly paid out $350 million in four years, and FIFA think those who suffered whilst building stadiums for the World Cup, including many who died, will be able to claim, either for themselves or through family, from that fund.

Some migrant workers died during the building of World Cup stadiums. Image: Alamy
Some migrant workers died during the building of World Cup stadiums. Image: Alamy

Ahead of the tournament, Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general hit out at FIFA for putting the World Cup in Qatar, despite their human rights record.

"Given the history of human rights abuses in the country, Fifa knew – or should have known – the obvious risks to workers when it awarded the tournament to Qatar," Callamard said.

"Despite this, there was not a single mention of workers or human rights in its evaluation of the Qatari bid and no conditions were put in place on labour protections. Fifa has since done far too little to prevent or mitigate those risks.

"Providing compensation to workers who gave so much to make the tournament happen, and taking steps to make sure such abuses never happen again, could represent a major turning point in Fifa’s commitment to respect human rights.

"By turning a blind eye to foreseeable human rights abuses and failing to stop them, Fifa indisputably contributed to the widespread abuse of migrant workers involved in World Cup-related projects in Qatar, far beyond the stadiums and official hotels."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: FIFA, Football World Cup, Qatar, Gianni Infantino

Ryan Sidle
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