Qatar World Cup campaign film – When they fall -

Qatar World Cup campaign film – When they fall

  • Published on
    November 21, 2022
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A powerful short video released ahead of the opening of the World Cup 2022, calls on fans to consider the workers exploited every time they witness a player fall, in one of the most controversial sports competitions of recent decades. Forced labor allegations and the exploitation of Qatar’s low-paid migrant workforce has tainted the World Cup that will begin on Sunday. Thousands have suffered exploitation amounting to forced labor while others have died in bringing the world this tournament. A large number of migrant workers involved in construction, hospitality and other key areas of infrastructure required to bring us this tournament have suffered abuses including debt bondage, wage theft, being prevented from changing employers, forced to work excessive hours, and having identity documents withheld by unscrupulous employers. Workers who have bravely protested for their rights and demanded their unpaid wages have reportedly faced arrest and deportation from Qatar.

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Recently more and more pressure has been put on the organizing committee FIFA and host country Qatar by human rights organizations, fan associations, politicians and individuals from around the world. However, with the exception of the Australian and Danish football teams, most players are reluctant to speak up about these issues. This new campaign film by production company Fledge sheds light on the brutal reality that lies behind the Qatar World Cup, by claiming that each fall to the ground of the football players reflects a conscious and symbolic act of protest to commemorate the workers that fell during the construction of this World Cup. Being an integral part of football play, these falls will happen no matter what and as such can represent an unstoppable and continuous form of symbolic protest. This campaign encourages football fans to raise their voice for fair football, not only to prevent tragedies like these from happening in the future, but also to ensure compensation for the sacrifices the migrant workers in Qatar have made. As such, over 100,000 in the Freedom United community – the world’s largest community taking action against modern slavery – are calling on Qatar to ensure effective implementation of legislation to protect migrant workers from forced labor in the future. As part of the #PayUpFIFA campaign, 5,000+ in the Freedom United community are also urgently calling on national Football Associations to support growing pressure on FIFA to set up a compensation fund of at least $440 million – equivalent to the tournament’s prize money – for exploited migrant workers and the families of those who have died.

“What is sad to see in this story is the fact that this tragedy was preventable,” says Diederik Jeangout, Creative Partner at Fledge. “As communication filmmakers it’s our job to take a step back, analyze why and how this all happened, and to condense this multi-layered societal issue into a core message that touches people. By finding a new twist on a story that has been told many times before but had the risk of losing people’s interest, we think this cheeky campaign appeals to a new audience that isn’t necessarily involved currently in large-scale human-rights issues.” “Migrant workers in Qatar have suffered horrendous human rights abuses in bringing us the World Cup. It has come at too high a cost.” said Miriam Karmali, Advocacy Manager at Freedom United. “Thousands have reported dire working conditions and exploitation amounting to forced labor. FIFA is expected to rake in billions from the tournament so setting up a compensation fund for exploited workers and the families of those who have died is the least they can do. Qatar must now ensure measures to protect migrant workers from exploitation are effectively enforced and felt by workers on the ground. We hope through sharing this video we can raise awareness of migrant workers’ experiences and keep building pressure on Qatar and FIFA to do the right thing.”

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The full video is also being posted to Tik Tok, Instagram and Facebook. It is available on YouTube here:

Links to campaign

Qatar action:

Football Associations action:

Notes to editors:

● Who is Freedom United

Freedom United is the world’s largest community taking action against modern slavery. Freedom United is a US registered nonprofit running campaigns globally calling for an end to modern slavery and human trafficking.

● Who is Fledge

Based in Belgium, Fledge is a production company with a strong focus on the core idea of its commercials. With their subdivision Fledge Format and in-house creative profiles they help non-profit organisations to conceptualise and craft meaningful films.

● Credits

Production company: Fledge
Creative Partner: Diederik Jeangout
Managing Partner: Roeland Jeangout
Director: Maria Leon
3D artist: Bondo
Sound Studio: Sonhouse
Music: The Blaze


Freedom United: Miriam Karmali, [email protected], GMT (London, UK)


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