FIFA holds meeting to address human rights issues ahead of World Cup in Qatar


Football Football – One year before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – Corniche Fishing Spot, Doha, Qatar – November 21, 2021 General view after the unveiling ceremony REUTERS / Ibraheem Al Omari

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December 14 (Reuters) – FIFA on Tuesday held a virtual meeting with political institutions as well as human rights organizations to discuss human rights in Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup, said the governing body of world football in a statement.

The meeting included FIFA President Gianni Infantino and head of the tournament organizing body Hassan Al Thawadi as well as members of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and political representatives from parliaments across Europe.

There were also representatives from the European Commission, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the United Nations and UNESCO, among others.

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FIFA said the dialogue allowed stakeholders to raise questions and concerns on a number of key topics, including worker well-being and LGBTQIA rights.

“From day one, we are committed to ensuring that a legacy is delivered before the tournament and that this legacy also lasts beyond the tournament, in particular on labor reform but also on other subjects” , said Al Thawadi.

Qatar’s government has said in the past that its labor system is still under construction, but has denied accusations in an Amnesty International report that thousands of migrant workers are being exploited.

A 48-page Amnesty report, Reality Check 2021, said practices such as withholding wages and forcing workers to change jobs were still commonplace.

Human Rights Watch said Qatari laws continue to discriminate against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

“Our main question here in Qatar remains on LGBTQIA rights and in particular on the law which criminalizes homosexuality,” said Piara Powar, executive director of the Fare network, an organization created to fight discrimination in European football.

“We know that many LGBTQIA people are afraid of coming, of what awaits them. Respect for local culture should not prevent reaching out to ensure the safety of LGBTQIA communities.”

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Reporting by Fernando Kallas Editing by Toby Davis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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