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12 May 2021

Qatar 2022 World Cup: FIFA responds to call from European football associations to ensure human rights are respected ahead of tournament

In April 2021, the football associations of Denmark, Norway and Sweden - Dansk Boldspil-Union (DBU), Svenska Fotbollforbundet (SvFF) & Norges Fotballforbund (NFF) – published open letters to FIFA President Gianni Infantino calling on FIFA to ensure human rights in Qatar are respected ahead of the 2022 World Cup. The letters follow weeks of discussion by European associations, national football teams and fan groups after the Guardian published data indicating that thousands of migrant workers had died in the World Cup host-country since 2010.

In their letters, DBU sets out four recommendations to FIFA to improve working conditions for migrant workers in Qatar. SvFF issues two recommendations to FIFA on conducting adequate human rights due diligence and ensuring all workers, including those in the service industry, are protected by Qatar’s recent labour reforms. NFF addresses seven questions to FIFA regarding the safeguarding, implementation and monitoring of reforms to uphold workers’ welfare, and on freedom of the press, freedom of expression and promoting LGBT rights during the tournament.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited FIFA to provide public responses to the above recommendations and questions; FIFA’s response can be read below.

Later in May, following a virtual meeting with FIFA, the football associations of Finland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway published another open letter reiterating their commitments and setting out four recommendations to FIFA.

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