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2022 WORLD CUP

Nordic countries ask FIFA chief for statement on human rights in Qatar

In an open letter, the federations from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and the Faroes said they would welcome an "open debate" after renewed criticism on Qatar in the past months.
FILED - 15 July 2018, Russia, Moscow: The world cup trophy exhibited ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2018 soccer final match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, 15 July 2018. FIFA has been given the mandate to make a feasibility study of hosting the men's and women's World Cup every two years instead of in a four-year cycle. Photo: Christian Charisius/dpa
The world cup trophy exhibited ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2018 soccer final match in Moscow. Photo: Christian Charisius/dpa.

Six football federations from Nordic countries, including Finland, have asked FIFA president Gianni Infantino to talk about the human rights situation at 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar in his opening address at the FIFA Congress later on Friday.

In an open letter, the federations from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and the Faroes said they would welcome an "open debate" after renewed criticism on Qatar in the past months.

"The issue of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is an issue relevant for the global football community," the letter said.

"That is why we urge you, Mr President, to address the situation of human and workers’ rights in Qatar when giving your address to the FIFA Congress on 21st of May.

"We trust that many member associations are interested in knowing about the situation in Qatar as the World Cup is drawing closer and we would welcome an open debate on this matter at the Congress."

The federations also called on FIFA to ensure compliance and implementation of human rights in Qatar, and present independent reports related to deaths and injuries at World Cup construction sites.

At World Cup qualifiers in March several teams including Norway and Germany called for human rights to observed.

Treatment of migrant workers

Qatar has mainly been criticized for the treatment of migrant workers in the country.

New laws have improved the situation but human rights organizations have said better implementation is needed.

The Guardian reported this year that 6,500 workers from five Asian countries have died in Qatar since it was awarded the World Cup in 2010.

Qatar named the number not excessive compared to the overall workforce from these countries, and has also cited its new laws.

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