independent

Friday 18 April 2014

FIFA demands improvement from Qatar over 'unacceptable' work conditions

FILE - JANUARY 08, 2014:  FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke has confirmed in an interview with Radio France that the Qatar 2022 World Cup will not be held in summer months. ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - DECEMBER 02: FIFA President Joseph S Blatter names Qatar as the winning hosts of 2022 during the FIFA World Cup 2018 & 2022 Host Countries Announcement at the Messe Conference Centre on December 2, 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
FIFA looking from clear improvements from Qatar World Cup chiefs

FIFA has ordered Qatar 2022 World Cup chiefs to deliver a detailed update on improvements to the "unacceptable" work conditions in the Middle Eastern country by a deadline of February 12.

A new report has claimed 185 Nepalese workers died last year including on projects on the infrastructure for the tournament.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has written to the organising committee - now known as the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in Qatar - demanding answers ahead of a hearing in the European Parliament the following day.

FIFA's German member Theo Zwanziger, who has been given the responsibility of dealing with the issue for the world governing body, said: "We are currently in the middle of an intensive process, which is exclusively aimed at improving the situation of workers in Qatar.

"Ultimately, what we need are clear rules and steps that will build trust and ensure that the situation, which is unacceptable at the moment, improves in a sustainable manner.

"This process will continue after 13 February and will culminate in a report to be delivered to the FIFA executive committee at its meeting on 20 and 21 March."

FIFA president Sepp Blatter visited Qatar after concerns were raised by an investigation carried out by The Guardian last year, but the latest figure of deaths was revealed by the Pravasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee (PNCC) last week.

A FIFA statement said: "The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in Qatar shall provide FIFA by 12 February 2014 with a detailed report on the improvement of working conditions in Qatar.

"This was communicated today by FIFA in a letter from secretary general Jerome Valcke to the competent body in Qatar.

"The report will then be used to prepare for the hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels on 13 February 2014, which will be attended by Dr Theo Zwanziger as the FIFA representative mandated to deal with this matter.

"FIFA expects to receive information on the specific steps that Qatar has taken since FIFA president Blatter's last trip to Doha in November 2013 to improve the welfare and living conditions of migrant workers."

FIFA said it would continue talks on labour rights in Qatar with different stakeholders, and define the exact of responsibilities of the various parties involved - FIFA itself, the state of Qatar, companies operating in the country plus international labour organisation.

Zwanziger, Germany's FIFA member, has met representatives from human rights and labour organisations in recent weeks, including Amnesty International.

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