Qatar World Cup: Amnesty International has called on FIFA to establish a £350 million fund for migrant workers

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Qatar World Cup: Fifa has been urged to establish a compensation fund of at least $440 million (£350 million) for migrant workers who have been subjected to “human rights abuses” during the World Cup preparations in Qatar.

Qatar World Cup: Amnesty International has called on FIFA to establish a £350 million fund for migrant workers

Amnesty International made the request via a letter addressed to Fifa president Gianni Infantino this week.

“The tournament cannot be really appreciated unless all workers are reimbursed,” the letter read.

The amount proposed is equal to the prize money budgeted for the 2022 World Cup.

Up to 30,000 migrant workers are thought to have been employed on projects in Qatar to construct seven stadiums for the finals, as well as a new airport, metro, and roads.

Amnesty International, along with other human rights organizations and fan groups, through the letter, urged the world football governing body to use the funds to compensate workers who sustained injuries, workers whose wages were withheld by companies in Qatar, and workers who have been compelled to pay recruitment fees to gain work.

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The England team manager, Gareth Southgate, and the Football Association have a role to play in pressuring Fifa to act, according to Amnesty International’s UK chief executive Sacha Deshmukh.

“Thousands of migrant laborers have been exploited, and many have sadly perished to make this World Cup possible,” he said.

“While nothing can bring dead workers back to life or restore the dignity of those trapped in situations akin to modern-day slavery during Qatar’s World Cup construction boom, a Fifa workers’ fund would be a significant step forward.”

Qatar World Cup: Amnesty International has called on FIFA to establish a £350 million fund for migrant workers

Fifa said it was evaluating Amnesty’s proposed program and was already working with the organizing committee on measures to compensate workers.

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“For example, as of December 2021, both Fifa World Cup and non-Fifa World Cup personnel had received payments totaling $22.6 million (£18 million), with an additional $5.7 million (£4.5 million) guaranteed by contractors,” it claimed.

The World Cup organizers in Qatar also stated that they have “worked relentlessly” with international organizations to protect the rights of workers at stadiums and other event infrastructure.

“Significant improvements have been made across accommodation standards, health and safety laws, grievance systems, healthcare supply, and repayments of illegal recruitment fees to workers,” stated a spokeswoman for the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

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