Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 draw - England, Wales and Scotland all involved
How many workers have died?
In February 2021, the Guardian said 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had died in Qatar since it won its World Cup bid.
The deaths, which were reported by authorities in the five Asian countries, were not categorised by occupation or place or work. But the labour rights group FairSquare said it was likely that many of those who died had been working on World Cup infrastructure projects.
Qatar’s government says the figures are an overestimate, because they include thousands of foreigners who died after living and working there for many years. It says many would have been working in jobs unrelated to the building industry.
Qatar says that between 2014 and 2020,there were 37 deaths among labourers building World Cup stadiums. It says 34 of those were “non-work related”.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) says Qatar has not counted sudden and unexpected deaths amongst labourers. It says these include fatal heart attacks and respiratory failure caused by heatstroke recorded as being from”natural causes” rather than “work-related”.
It says 50 workers died and more than 500 others were seriously injured in Qatar in 2021 alone, and another 37,600 suffered mild to moderate injuries.
Dirk Reynolds: For the World Cup, they should add one team of players from countries that failed to quality - representing a good cause (Unicef, Climate Change, etc.) Haaland, Salah, Verrati, Chiesa, Mahrez, Jorghino, etc.
High hopes, especially for Senegal. They are the champions of Africa and the best team in the continent for the last four or five years. They are the standard bearer for Africa. Cameroon could shock one or two. The other three, it will be difficult to make an impact. They maybe lack the firepower.
England breezed through qualifying and made it look easy, as so many countries have, although Italy may disagree with that. I think the mood England are in, with the last two competitions they will be looking forward to this tournament.
People travelling to Qatar will find that the hospitality there is incredible, just like all the middle Eastern countries. What you have to do is respect their country and abide by their laws while you are there, just as you would expect them to do if they visited the UK. It’s just common sense.
There are some difficult teams in each pot.
Pot 2 contains Netherlands, Germany, Euro 2020 semi-finals Denmark and 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia.
Pot 3 contains Africa Cup of Nations winners Senegal, Robert Lewandowski’s Poland and Serbia, who beat Portugal to automatic qualification.
Cameroon and Ghana will be difficult prospects in Pot 4, while Wales, who are ranked 18th in the world, could be there.
Everyone wants hosts Qatar from Pot 1 in all truth.
Unions call for migrant workers centre
Players’ union Fifpro and Building and Wood Workers’ International, a building workers union, have issued a joint letter calling for a migrant workers centre to be established in Doha.
It reads: “Each achievement gained for workers remains fragile. Among migrants in Qatar there is widespread fear that when the spotlight on Qatar dims after the World Cup the improvements achieved will peter out.
“For the progress achieved so far to be underpinned and sustained, Qatar must continue empowering those workers who are afraid, isolated and without a voice.
“To do this, we are proposing that Qatar sanctions what we are calling a migrant workers centre. It will be a haven where expatriates can go for help. It will provide a safe space for them to meet. It will provide them with the opportunity to develop skills, learn and get advice about their employment rights.”
The secretary general of the 2022 Qatar World Cup says criticism by players and managers has been “ill-informed” and the nation “should not be apologetic” about hosting the tournament.
Qatar has been heavily criticised over the country’s human rights record.
There are strict anti-LGBTIQ+ laws in Qatar, while there are also concerns over the treatment of migrant workers.
“Some people have made statements that in my opinion were ill-informed,” Hassan Al-Thawadi told BBC sport editor Dan Roan.
“We should not be apologetic over our ambitions to host this tournament because we are football loving region.
“We are football crazy and football mad like anywhere else. We have the legitimate ambition to showcase our region to the rest of the world and to change people’s perception of who we are.”
LGBTIQ group need more reassurances
A group of 16 international LGBTIQ organisations have been engaging with Fifa and the local organisers on “issues of concern”.
They say: “Progress has been slow, reassurances about the safety of LGBTIQ+ people and the mechanisms in place to ensure safety have not been adequate.
“If acknowledgement of the issues facing LGBTIQ+ people in Qatar and reassurances of safety cannot be offered, we will be forced to question if the risk facing LGBTIQ+ people wanting to attend or work at the World Cup in Qatar is too high.”