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Over a million call on FIFA to pay up

  • Published on
    March 13, 2023
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    Anti-Slavery Activists
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The 2022 World Cup may be over but FIFA is still under pressure to take urgent action and create a concrete plan to compensate migrant workers who have suffered from human rights abuses, including wage theft, illegal recruitment fees, injuries and even death, during the construction of World Cup infrastructure in Qatar.

On the eve of the World Cup in November 2022, FIFA President Gianni Infantino proudly announced the impending creation of a Qatar World Cup “legacy fund” – without details as to when it would be established or what it would be allocated towards. Since then advocates have been demanding the fund be used to compensate migrant workers and their families.

How many will it take to make FIFA listen?

Over one million people have signed a letter organized by Amnesty International calling on FIFA to compensate migrant workers. The Norwegian Football Association is urging FIFA to fully commit to its human rights obligations. A coalition of 8 global union federations is also calling on a fund to aid abused workers.

As part of our #PayUpFIFA campaign over 5,000 members of the Freedom United community called on national Football Associations to pressure FIFA to set aside money to compensate exploited workers and their families.

Steve Cockburn of Amnesty International says FIFA’s annual congress is the ideal place to iron out a compensation plan.

He told the Independent,

“Workers suffered horrific abuses to help deliver a World Cup tournament that made billions of dollars for Fifa yet brought a human cost of indebted families and workers’ deaths. While nothing can replace the loss of a loved one, there is no doubt Fifa has the resources to help mend these injustices and provide life-changing support to workers and their families.

“The time has come for Fifa to properly address its responsibilities rather than merely passing the buck to Qatar.”

Over 200 Football Associations are gathering at FIFA’s 73rd congress and the Norwegian FA intends to raise the issue.

According to Infantino, FIFA made over $7 billion from the World Cup. A compensation fund would only require a fraction of that money which clearly cannot be expected from the Qatari government. According to the unions, progress on labor rights are backsliding.

“Positive change has ceased not only because of the lack of political will or active opposition by many abusive employers, but also because of the lack of progress on the International Labour Organization’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.”

Join the movement

Join the movement to demand justice for migrant workers who suffered human rights abuses while building the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. We call on FIFA to establish a firm plan to compensate these workers and the families of those who died. The game is over but the fight continues.

Take action today.

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