Qatar will provide a safe football World Cup in 2022 and has made big strides in the area of labour rights, a leading official has said.
“We are taking security very seriously for everyone at the World Cup. We have no doubts that security in 2022 will be impeccable,” Nasser al-Khater, executive director of Communications and Marketing for the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, told Germany’s Sport Bild weekly.
Al-Khater said that Qatar had improved in the area of labour rights and laws in the wake of suggestions and calls from human rights organisations and the ruling football body FIFA.
He said that laws were in line with international standards with “clear rules to protect workers” and that “living conditions have been improved”.
In general terms, al-Khater pledged that Qatar would “stage a spectacular tournament that will exceed all expectations”.
He said: “It will be a historically compact World Cup which will allow fans, the media and officials to attend more than one game per day and to spend the entire World Cup in one accommodation.”
Qatar authorities have accused foreign media of running a malicious campaign against the first Gulf nation to host a FIFA World Cup. Qatar also says none of the workers employed for World Cup projects have been exploited.
The country’s World Cup organising committee said criticism was a normal part of major sporting events.
“We extend a hand to all of our critics to come to Qatar and see for themselves the progress we are making in a number of fields, from stadium delivery to cooling technology, workers welfare to creating a sporting industry in the region,” it told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an e-mail recently.
Senior officials in the government have promised to work towards radically overhauling the current system, giving workers the rights they deserve.
In May, Qatar unveiled plans for labour reforms, including a new system based on employment contracts, after a review of its labour legislation by DLA Piper, a British-based law firm.
The Labour Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that a new law to replace the “kafala” system would be announced next year, it added. Source: Agencies, Photo: AFP