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20 Sep 2022

Qatar 2022: NGOs call for sponsors to support remedy to migrant workers as adidas, Budweiser (AB-InBev), Coca-Cola & McDonald's only cos. to respond to request for support

Photo Play, Shutterstock

In September 2022, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and FairSquare called for FIFA and World Cup sponsors to urge football's governing body to compensate workers who had suffered any abuse in the preparations for the World Cup. This could include a range of types of abuse and labour exploitation including injuries and deaths, wage theft or payment of recruitment fees. The call comes four months after a coalition of NGOs and football groups called on FIFA to establish a comprehensive programme to remedy these abuses, and a week after Amnesty International published the results of a poll showing overwhelming fan support for remedy to migrant workers who have suffered abuse.

Of 14 sponsors and partners, only four companies responded to a letter sent by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and FairSquare in July: adidas, Budweiser (AB-InBev), Coca-Cola and McDonald's in July 2022. The majority of sponsors or partners Visa, Hyundai-Kia, Wanda Group, Qatar Energy, Qatar Airways, Vivo, Hisense, Mengniu, Crypto and Bjyu's did not respond. The statements from the responding sponsors can be read below in full.

Brands buy rights to sponsor the World Cup because they want to be associated with joy, fair competition, and spectacular human achievement on the playing field—not rampant wage theft and the deaths of workers who made the World Cup possible. With only two months until the first ball is kicked, sponsors should use their considerable leverage to press FIFA and Qatar to fulfill their human rights responsibilities to these workers.
Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch