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Construction union Ucatt slammed Fifa yesterday for once again ignoring the plight of migrant workers in Qatar after a task force announced that the tournament should be moved to the winter.
To move the tournament to November would get around playing in the summer heat but the decision ignored the two million migrant workers who are being forced to work six days a week in temperatures that reach 55 degrees.
The conditions of workers are slave like, wages are often withheld from workers for months on end and pay can be as low as 56p an hour.
And under Qatar’s kafala system, their passports are removed and they cannot leave the country without their employers permission.
Since the World Cup was questionably handed to Qatar in 2010, over 1,400 construction workers from India and Nepal have died and the total death rate of all migrant workers is likely far higher.
Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy said: “Once again Fifa have chosen to worry about the health of footballers and not the health of the workers building what will be a blood-stained World Cup.”
Football Association chair Greg Dyke said the best option would have been to move the tournament away from Qatar but said the new proposal was “the best of the bad options.
“I have said from the start we cannot possibly play in the summer in Qatar, it would be ridiculous to play then.
“The best option would be to not hold it in Qatar but we are now beyond that so November/December would seem to be the best of the bad options.
“It will clearly disrupt the whole football calendar as it means club football stopping at the end of October.
“You might be able to keep the disruption to one season if you start earlier and end later but it’s going to be tough — and unnecessary because we would not be doing this if Fifa had done their work properly.”
Uefa released a statement which supported the task force’s recommendation but again failed to address the treatment of migrant workers.
It said: “Uefa believes that — for the benefits of players and fans — the event should be played in winter and now awaits the final decision from the Fifa executive committee meeting.
“Uefa sees no major issues in rescheduling its competitions for the 2022/23 season, should the 2022 Fifa World Cup proposal be approved by the Fifa executive committee and Uefa acknowledges that the competition may be shortened and thus that the release period of players be reduced.”
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