Qatar Says Up to 500 World Cup Migrant Workers Died

    Photo: TalkTV [via Talk Sport]

    The Facts

    • In an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan that aired Monday, Qatar World Cup chief Hassan Al-Thawadi said that between 400 and 500 migrant workers have died working on projects linked to the tournament, a larger figure than previously reported by Qatari officials.

    • This estimate was given in response to a question about how many people died from any construction related to the event — including new hotels or bridges — since the country won the bid to host the World Cup in 2010.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    FIFA wants the world to focus solely on soccer, but this World Cup will always be remembered for its human cost and the ongoing suffering among migrant workers. It's outrageous that the international governing body of soccer has flaunted the norms of the global community by granting hosting rights to Qatar without imposing any condition related to labor protection. FIFA must help compensate those affected by such negligence.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While Qatar has flaws, Western criticism of this year's World Cup host under the pretext of advocating for human rights is hypocritical. The West, which has long been happy to take advantage of labor laws in the Gulf emirate to extract profit, has been selectively denouncing migrant worker exploitation while deliberately failing to recognize improvements in working conditions.

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