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19 Dez 2023

The Guardian (UK)

Qatar 2022: Rhetoric not to be followed by meaningful legacy for migrants' rights, writes Guardian

"The Guardian view on the Qatar World Cup one year on: a shadowed legacy,"

A year ago, Lionel Messi and what seemed to be the entire population of Argentina were celebrating victory after perhaps the most dramatic World Cup final ever played. In a closing tournament press conference, the president of Fifa, Gianni Infantino, described Qatar 2022 as the best World Cup in history. The accounts showed that world football’s governing body had pocketed a record $7.5bn worth of revenue.

Then, as Christmas approached, the sporting and media caravans moved on. But many migrant workers, whose labour had enabled this sporting spectacle to take place, did not. By March this year, a coalition of eight union federations had issued an angry statement noting deteriorating working conditions, as the spotlight of global attention abruptly switched off.

Twelve months on, Qatari labour courts are dealing with a vast backlog of claims from labourers seeking redress for busive practices ranging from illegal recruitment fees to withheld wages. The iniquitous kafala system – a form of bonded labour officially abolished in 2017 as preparations for the World Cup placed Qatar under heavy scrutiny – reportedly continues in places under the radar...

If Qatari authorities have questions to answer, despite limited reforms, so does Fifa... But a mooted migrant workers’ centre in Qatar did not come to pass, and there has been little apparent progress on vague post-tournament promises of a “labour excellence hub”.

Perhaps most egregiously, given the record profits banked by Fifa, a “legacy fund” set up by Mr Infantino contains no provision for remedying human rights abuses suffered by foreign workers in Qatar. This despite pre-tournament suggestions that a form of reparations fund would be seriously considered. A promised assessment of the organisation’s human rights responsibilities, including on compensation, has yet to be published...