FIFA sets up worker welfare body for Qatar World Cup

Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:16am EDT
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DOHA (Reuters) - The head of soccer's world governing body FIFA urged Qatar to hasten improvements in safety and labor conditions for builders working on sites for the 2022 World Cup and declared: "we will not just sit and wait".

Gianni Infantino, on a two-day visit to Qatar, announced plans for a special working group to monitor the situation and acknowledged there were still "many challenges".

Amnesty International reported on abuses in Qatar's preparations for the World Cup in a wide-ranging report three weeks ago based on the accounts of 132 workers at the sites.

It found construction workers from Nepal and India had been charged recruitment fees and housed in squalid conditions.

Infantino said Qatar, the tournament's first Arab host, supported the monitoring initiative.

"I acknowledge very much the efforts which are being done. I want to see these efforts now being put in practice," Infantino, elected as president of the scandal-plagued federation in February, told reporters. "Of course we will not just sit and wait.

"FIFA will step up its efforts in order to ensure the protection of the workers' rights in the construction of the FIFA World Cup sites is fulfilled"


FIFA's newly elected president Gianni Infantino poses with the Qatar Workers Cup trophy in Doha, Qatar, April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon