England’s Football Association (FA) said on Wednesday that the families of migrant workers in Qatar who were injured or killed while building infrastructure for this year’s World Cup should receive compensation.
Qatar has faced fierce criticism from human rights groups for its treatment of migrant workers, who, along with other foreigners, make up the bulk of the country’s population.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Fair Square said on Tuesday that FIFA’s partners and World Cup sponsors should call on world football’s governing body and the Qatari government to compensate migrant workers.
In May, Amnesty and other human rights organizations called on FIFA to allocate $440 million in compensation for human rights violations.
“We continue to push for compensation for the families of migrant workers who have been killed or injured during construction projects,” FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said in a statement.
“Again, we insist on FIFA to renew the compensation fund, which is consistently referred to as the safety net, where workers and their families have not been able to receive compensation from construction companies.”
Qatar’s government said its labor system was still a work in progress, but denied a 2021 Amnesty report that thousands of migrant workers were still being exploited.
Bullingham said the FA is also lobbying FIFA to update the Gulf state’s new labor laws and introduce a center to provide advice and assistance to migrant workers.
“Obviously Qatar has passed progressive legislation over the last few years to give workers rights, so this concept will help that legislation come into effect,” Bullingham said.
England captain Harry Kane and the captains of seven other European teams that have qualified for the World Cup will wear anti-discrimination armbands during the tournament in Qatar, where homosexuality is banned.
We are joining together with nine other European countries to support OneLove, a campaign that will use the power of football to promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination.
— England (@England) September 21, 2022
“As captains we may compete with each other on the pitch, but we stand together against all forms of discrimination,” Kane said.
“This is even more relevant at a time when division in society is a common phenomenon. Wearing the armband together on behalf of our teams will send a clear message as the world watches.”
The World Cup will start on November 20 and will last until December 18.