Qatar hits back at 2022 World Cup deaths report as based on 'assumption’

The Qatari government has issued a statement denying that workers have died building infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup. (File photo: AP)

The Qatari government has issued a statement denying that workers have died building infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, according to British newspaper The Independent.

Qatar’s rebuttal comes days after the Washington Post published an article entitled “The Human Toll of FIFA’s corruption” which claimed that around 4,000 workers could lose their lives between now and the start of the 2022 tournament.

“It appears that the Post simply took the total annual mortality figures for Indian and Nepali migrants working in Qatar and multiplied those numbers by the years remaining between now and the 2022 World Cup,” a statement issued by the Qatari government’s communication office read.

“A calculation which assumes that the death of every migrant worker in Qatar was work-related,” it added.

The Post article, which received millions of shares on social media, claims that an estimated 1,200 migrant workers have died since Qatar started constructing its World Cup stadiums.

Saif al-Thani, a member of the Qatari government communications office, sent a letter to the Washington Post complaining that a previous letter sent to the editor for publication had not been used.

The second letter stated: “As a result of the Post’s online article, readers around the world have now been led to believe that thousands of migrant workers in Qatar have perished, or will perish, building the facilities for World Cup 2022 - a claim that has absolutely no basis in fact”.

Al-Thani called on the newspaper to take down the article.

Nicholas McGeehan, from Human Rights Watch, told HuffPost UK that there was no reason to doubt Qatar’s claim.

“I’ve no reason to doubt that figure, stadium construction has only begun in earnest on one site to my knowledge,” he said.

“What Qatar has is a very problematic pattern of deaths of young men in its construction sector - much of which is geared towards the 2022 tournament - and it has ignored calls for an investigation into those deaths,” he added.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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