Not a great week to be FIFA
Nepalese workers based in Qatar weren’t allowed to go home for the funerals of their loved ones.
Pretty much every headline over the last few days was calling FIFA (the International Federation of Association Football) out for bribery and corruption charges. Scheming, kickbacks, and backroom deals are just a few of the alleged offenses FIFA has on its hands right now. But the story I’m about to tell you is even more disturbing.
After the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal a month ago, killing 8,000+ people, Nepalese workers based in Qatar (who are building the World Cup 2022 stadiums) weren’t allowed to go home for the funerals of their loved ones. WTF FIFA?!? (Also, WTF Qatar.)
This is shameful.
There are over 400,000 workers from Nepal working in Qatar right now, many of whom are building the infrastructure for the World Cup 2022.
Workers are forced to adhere to a cruel system of labor rules known as “kafala,” where they are essentially tied to a single employer, unable to move freely and often have to hand over their passports so they can’t leave. This screams human rights violations.
In a report published by Amnesty International, Qatar was called out for failing to improve conditions for migrant workers. Including getting rid of the kafala system. The Nepalese government also called out FIFA and Qatar for their despicable behavior.
In an interview with the Guardian, Nepal’s labor minister Tek Bahadur Gurung said,
I hope the scrutiny FIFA is currently facing for all of their other offenses sheds some light on the issue of migrant workers. An organization with their global presence should be held accountable to ensure the safety and rights of the human beings working for them.