Moving World Cup from Qatar counter-productive, says Zwanziger

Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:21pm EST
 
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The 2022 World Cup should stay in Qatar to keep the pressure on the Gulf nation to improve its labor rights record, a FIFA executive committee member said on Thursday.

"People have been asking when FIFA would be taking the World Cup away from Qatar but I think that would be counter-productive," Theo Zwanziger told a European parliament sub-committee on human rights.

"It would mean the current situation, the human rights violations would go on. It would simply mean that the spotlight would be put away from them."

Qatar has been under fire for its treatment of migrant workers in the construction industry after Britain's Guardian newspaper reported in September that dozens of Nepali laborers had died.

"What is now important is to use the pressure that you get from this global event, which interests billions of people, as an opportunity to ask Qatar to show it's an open and tolerant country," German Zwanziger added.

"They need to show this as quickly as possible."

Amnesty International and the International Trade Union Confederation have also criticized the treatment of migrant laborers in Qatar, fearing the problem could worsen with the extra construction work needed for the tournament.

On Tuesday, Qatari World Cup organizers produced a 50-page document outlining stricter measures that would apply to contractors involved in building work for the tournament.

RIGHT DIRECTION   Continued...

 
Labourers work at a construction site in Doha June 18, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer