Qatar World Cup cost the lives of almost 200 Nepalese workers last year
Official documents have revealed that a total of 185 Nepalese workers died in 2013 as they worked on the infrastructure for the 2022 Qatar Fifa World Cup. The number is likely to rise.
The revelation has sparked controversy over the treatment of migrant workers. Fifa has been put under pressure to enforce a change. Fifa’s president, Sepp Blatter, has been compelled to promise that Fifa won’t turn a blind eye to the case.
The Pravasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee (PNCC), the organisation which is helping the families of the dead migrant workers, says that Fifa should do more. The PNCC has cross-checked the figures from Doha’s official sources, and is still receiving new cases.
“Fifa and the government of Qatar promised the world that they would take action to ensure the safety of workers building the stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup. This horrendous roll call of the dead gives the lie to those reassurances,” said the PNCC.
In June, July and August alone, the PNCC recorded 65 deaths. The cause of those deaths included traffic injuries, and “sudden cardiac arrests”. It has been said that the migrants have been working for 12 hours a day, in blazing sun, with temperatures reaching 40°C.
A PNCC spokesman has urged for the public to demand Qatar to take action. “We call upon civilised governments as a matter of the greatest urgency to demand that Qatar takes meaningful action to protect foreign workers on its soil – including reform of the kafala system of labour, which encourages employers to treat their workers as property rather than human beings,” said the spokesman.