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21 Sep 2022

Pete Pattinson, Guardian (UK)

Qatar 2022: Al Sulaiteen workers at Al Bayt stadium reportedly living in unsuitable housing, having paid recruitment fees & unable to change jobs; incl. comment from FIFA

See all tags Allegations

Ekkasit A Siam, Shutterstock

"Workers at Qatar’s World Cup stadiums toil in debt and squalor", 20 Sep 2022

...Yet the men who labour day after day in the relentless heat and humidity to maintain this remarkable green space – watering the grounds, cutting the grass and painstakingly pulling up weeds by hand – live in very different conditions.

At the end of each shift, they are driven for 40 minutes to the edge of the desert, where they are dropped off at a farm belonging to their employer, Al Sulaiteen Agricultural and Industrial Complex (SAIC). Inside, among rows of giant greenhouses, they return to their rooms in small rundown cabins.

Some house three or four workers in single beds, others five or six in bunks, but all those viewed by the Guardian were windowless, cramped and dirty. Towels draped between the upper and lower bunks provide what little privacy there is...

All the workers interviewed, who are from Bangladesh, Nepal and India, say they were forced to pay illegal fees to agents in their own countries to secure their jobs...

SAIC did not respond to requests for comment.

“In addition to the extensive measures already introduced, which aim to support workers involved in the preparation and delivery of the World Cup, Fifa has actively pushed for the implementation of broader labour reforms that apply to all companies and projects across the country and benefit all workers in Qatar.”