DOHA, (Reuters) – Qatar government authorities are investigating allegations in the Guardian newspaper that dozens of migrant Nepalese workers have died in recent weeks, the committee managing preparations for the 2022 World Cup said yesterday.
The Guardian report, published on Wednesday, said thousands of Nepalese workers were enduring labour abuses as Qatar prepares to host the 2022 World Cup.
The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said in a statement it had been informed that government authorities were investigating the allegations.
“Like everyone viewing the video and images, and reading the accompanying texts, we are appalled by the findings presented in the Guardian’s report,” the committee said.
“The health, safety, well-being and dignity of every worker that contributes to staging the 2022 FIFA World Cup is of the utmost importance to our committee.”
Qatar was awarded the World Cup three years ago in a surprise decision. The tiny Gulf state is now in a race against time to complete an extensive amount of infrastructure work that would allow it to host the biggest sporting event in the world after the summer Olympic Games.
The world governing body FIFA said it was concerned about media reports highlighting labour rights’ abuses and conditions for construction workers in projects at the Lusail City construction site.
“FIFA will again get in contact with the Qatari Authorities and the matter will also be discussed at the Executive Committee Meeting under point FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on 3 and 4th October 2013 in Zurich,” it said.
Qatar’s 2022 committee said it was working with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International as well as various ministries to address migrant labour issues.