The Guardian reported a few days ago that 500 Indian workers have died while building the World Cup stadium in set for 2022 in Qatar. A few weeks ago they reported that more than 400 Nepali migrant workers have died while making the World Cup possible in the Middle Eastern Emirate. With almost 1000 dead workers from 2 countries, you might ask how many have actually already died if you included the migrant workers from other places, for example Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, who make up more than 30% of the workforce.
If these workers were football players, then more than 90 full teams would have already died. That is 3 times as many players who will be starting the World Cup in Brazil this year.On FIFA’s website they proudly write about their “Football For Hope Program”: Hundreds of social organisations worldwide make use of the unique appeal of football and the sport’s core values in their daily work. FIFA is supporting them through Football for Hope. This hope of course does not help the dead workers or the families left behind, who more often than not depend heavily on the remittances sent home by these workers who literally work themselves to death.
With the knowledge of how many people have already died to make this championship happen, it is a bit scary to imagine the grueling conditions the people who do survive the work camps endure.
And they will probably never be able to afford to attend the matches they worked to build.
The most alarming about this situation is that the Government of Qatar, a country where 90% of the population is made up by foreign workers, has stated that these death tolls are normal.
“The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has warned that up to 4,000 workers may die before a ball is kicked in 2022.” But at the rate we are seeing today this estimate might be low.
How many human beings must die for us to be able to enjoy a football tournament?
And when will the players themselves start speaking out?
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