6500 Migrant Deaths Linked To Qatar World Cup


When the World Cup bidding process began for the 2022 World Cup twelve years ago,  nobody could have predicted the sham that was to follow.  Qatar were a shock bidding nation given the apparent lack of interest in football from the regfon and the fact never before had the Middle East hosted the World Cup.

Fast forward twelve years and we’ve had a full movie’s worth of drama and incident.  Corruption, bribery, FBI involvement, arrests’ enough to fill a movie trilogy.  On the other side of the coin, we have the deaths in their thousands of the migrant workers who have striven to build entire cities, infrastructure and stadia fit for a first class global football event.  The third side of that coin would see the row and fear about hosting an event in a country with such a poor human rights track record including the legalities of public shows of affection between same sex couples.  In other words, homosexuality is illegal and carries a jail term.

FIFA, the world’s football governing body, were suspected of taking bribes even before the announcement on 2nd December 2010.  This suspicion came to fruition in 2015 when a full on FBI investigation uncovered a massive string of FIFA officials who had accepted bribes of $1.5 million apiece in order to ensure Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar, a nation half the size of Wales were now expected to put on an event which expected up to one million guests.  A nation with a lack of hotels, rooms, rail networks, airports, were expected to accommodate one million people.

In order to build this infrastructure, migrant workers were drafted in from Nepal, Bangladesh, Phillipines and more on a Kafala system.

What is the Kafala System?
The Kafala System is where employees are contracted through sponsors who give them jobs and accommodation and can dictate their legal and immigration status.  In many situations workers had their passports confiscated.

There have been reports of workers being denied payment for months whilst working in temperatures up to 50 degrees celsius., workers having passports taken away denying them exiting the country and workers having their bank cards taken from them.

The Guardian reported in 2021 that there had been a minimum of 6500 deaths directly linked to building stadiums and infrastructure essential to host the World Cup.    The Qatar Government mislead with details of cause of deaths in that they record the vast majority as ‘natural causes’.  When these apparent ‘natural causes’ were on previously healthy fit young men it raises questions.  Post mortems were never carried out on these deaths to find out the true cause.  However, it’s suspected the high working temperatures would be a major risk factor.

Many families have been left heartbroken, torn apart and answer-less with regards how their loved ones died.  In most cases, the major breadwinner of the family has been lost.

Neither FIFA nor the Qatari Government have taken accountability.

The World Cup is due to kick off on Sunday 20th November 2022 in stadiums with blood on the walls.  Top players from around the world will kick a ball about on a piece of grass that was made possible by upwards of 6500 people who have perished, not to mention those who suffered life changing injuries.

Accountability and compensation is needed.

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