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Fifa threatened with lawsuit in Swiss courts for complicity in mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar

Author: Owen Gibson, Guardian (UK), Published on: 10 October 2016

"Fifa faces legal challenge over Qatar migrant workers", 10 Oct 2016

Fifa is facing legal action in the Swiss courts over its alleged complicity in the mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup...Since Fifa voted in December 2010 to hold the World Cup in the tiny Gulf state, Qatar has faced intense criticism over the plight of an army of migrant workers...[T]he legal challenge, brought by the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV) on behalf of a Bangladeshi migrant worker called Nadim Sharaful Alam, is the first time that Fifa has been made directly accountable in the Swiss courts.  In a letter sent to world football’s governing body...lawyers acting for FNV and Alam have given Fifa’s new president, Gianni Infantino, three weeks to accept its complicity and pay damages before going to court...[I]f the action is successful it could open the door for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to make similar claims...[C]ritics including major NGOs and trade unions have argued that Fifa should do more to use its influence to push for improvement for workers on related infrastructure projects and for wider changes to the kafala system that has been compared to a form of modern slavery...Under the heading “wrongful acts committed by Fifa”, the summary of the writ says that “Swiss law, but also Qatari law and international law oblige Fifa to respect fundamental human rights and refrain from wrongdoing”...

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Related companies: FIFA