Horrifying conditions in the desert
In a country with a native population of 278,000, there are 1.5 million migrant workers, most of them drawn from neighbouring states but also from Africa and the Middle East. Qatar is the world’s richest country per capita, at $145,894 per person. Yet workers in the new construction industry build the stadiums and infrastructure in the most horrendous conditions for slave pay.
Temperatures regularly exceed 50C and, with next to no health and safety regulations, the run up to the World Cup is being counted in the deaths of workers. The Play Fair Qatar campaign has said that they expect that “more than 62 workers will die for each game played during the 2022 tournament.” 964 workers from Nepal, India and Bangladesh were killed in 2012/13. If this rate continues, it is expected 4,000 workers could be killed by the time the tournament takes place.
No profiteering from football
The brutal conditions migrant workers face in Qatar are the logical conclusion of the profit-driven demands of the corrupt leadership at the top of FIFA that have ensured that football has become another plaything of the rich. The history of the game and its modern corruption is expertly explained by Socialist Party member John Reid in his book “Reclaim the Game”. As John argued then, instead of being run for profit, the game should be democratically owned and controlled by fans, players and staff.