.
.
.
.

Qatar ‘denies’ Nepalese World Cup workers compassionate leave

The government in Kathmandu also criticized FIFA and asked the governing body to put more pressure the tiny peninsula

Published: Updated:

Nepalese citizens working on stadiums for the 2022 Qatar World Cup were barred from returning home to attend the funerals of relatives killed in last month's earthquake, The Guardian reported quoting the Nepalese government.

“After the earthquake of 25 April, we requested all companies in Qatar to give their Nepalese workers special leave and pay for their air fare home. While workers in some sectors of the economy have been given this, those on World Cup construction sites are not being allowed to leave because of the pressure to complete projects on time,” Tek Bahadur Gurung, Nepal’s labour minister, said.

“They have lost relatives and their homes and are enduring very difficult conditions in Qatar. This is adding to their suffering,” he added.

Gurung also said: “We want to work with the Qatari government and bodies like Fifa because our people need the jobs and Nepal needs the money more than ever. Things are very difficult for the Nepalese and other workers in Qatar, but we have to help them and cannot stay silent any longer.”

Nepal has high unemployment and its government estimates that some $4bn is sent home every year by expatriates, most of them working in the Gulf.

The government in Kathmandu also criticized FIFA and asked the governing body to put more pressure the tiny peninsula to improve the conditions of the workers employed as part of the World Cup constructions.

There has been increasing international concern about the country's treatment of Nepalese foreigners working on the World Cup stadiums.

Last week, Amnesty International published a report in which it said that Qatar had failed to deliver on a range of promises to improve conditions and introduce new legislation covering migrant workers.

In 2014, The Guardian reported that one Nepalese worker dies every two days in the Gulf country.