Human Rights Watch (HRW) Thursday said that the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) should utilise the approved World Cup Qatar 2022 Legacy Fund to compensate victims of human rights abuses related to the 2022 World Cup.
FIFA came under worldwide scrutiny and condemnation for its exploitation of labor protection laws in Qatar during the construction of World Cup infrastructure, which led to mistreatment and deaths of migrant laborers.
One of the labor laws that FIFA and the Qatari government allegedly exploited states that natural causes of death are not considered work related and therefore do not need to be investigated or compensated. In interviews conducted by HRW, family members of deceased migrant workers stated that they have yet to receive compensation.
Deputy Middle East Director for HRW Michael Page said that the 2022 World Cup generated “$7.5 billion in revenue” while workers faced “months of unpaid wages, dangerous working conditions and unexplained deaths.” He believes that the legacy fund should focus on rectifying these wrongs.
Human rights bodies including HRW and Amnesty International sent a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino urging him to direct the funds toward remedying the labor exploitation and human rights abuses. Infantino has urged workers to seek compensation for unpaid labour through the Qatari Ministry of Labour. Page called Infantino’s statement “insulting.”
Infantino was re-elected on March 16 and will serve as president until 2027.