Enemies of Qatar, the 2022 FIFA World Cup host are yet to lay down their arms after numerous failed attempts to get the world football governing body, FIFA to take the hosting right from the gulf state.
They have repeatedly employed various means, including, but not limited to state apparatus to pass false reports to respectable international organisations like the International Labour Organisation, Amnesty International through their powerful and influential media. They have turned themselves into emergency international human rights watchdogs with a view to scrutinizing the construction works going on at the various designated stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.
Their latest machinations came by way of a report by Amnesty International to the effect that immigrant workers engaged by construction firms building the various stadiums in Qatar were not being well taken care of. The report went on to say the workers were being owed or given delayed payments and their rights were brazenly abused. Nothing can be far from the truth.
The above is the strong view of a columnist with Qatar’s daily newspaper, The Peninsula, Dr Mohammad Saleh Al Misfer writes. He writes:
“These accusations are immoral, and lack credibility because the promoters of these allegations are spiteful groups composed of both Arabs and foreigners.”
He continues, “Spitefulness and political motives are sometimes pushing such entities to try to influence the FIFA management to review or change its previous decisions by creating confusion and making the international community hesitate about Qatar’s ability to host the World Cup event in 2022.”
Misfer noted that some agencies depend on third party information (which are more often than not incorrect) to make conclusions on certain issues. He continues, “composers of such false reports aim at first to earn money by creating confusion and speaking in line with the interests and desires of some groups targeting certain countries. Sometimes also famous figures depend on investigative teams to conduct field work, but the problem with some of these teams is that they may have stereotyped images and prejudiced views even before starting the work.”
This is in line with the discovery that the Amnesty International report was based on the findings on four companies out of the over 40 construction companies involved in Qatar.
The authority mentioned that Amnesty International’s field investigative report was limited to just four companies out of more than 40 companies engaged in the renovation of the Khalifa International Stadium, namely Eversendai, Seven Hills, Blue Bay, and Al-Nakheel Landscapes.
“Qatari officials have acknowledged that challenges in worker’s conditions existed during early 2015 but, due to law enforcement and monitoring efforts, the problems have been addressed, and Seven Hills, and Blue Bay were excluded from working in any future projects of the World Cup until they demonstrate that they are compliant with the standards and specifications set by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has appointed Impactt Ltd as an independent third party External Monitor to further bolster the auditing and inspections process of the SC Workers’ Welfare Standards (WW Standards), a set of enforceable principles and regulations which are incorporated into all contracts for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.
The second edition of the WW Standards was published on March 1, and clearly sets out the SC’s requirements regarding the recruitment, employment, living and working conditions of everyone engaged on an SC project.
Developed by the SC’s Workers’ Welfare Unit (WWU) in close consultation with stakeholders including contractors, FIFA and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the new requirements update the original WW Standards, which were published in February 2014. These revised standards are now in the process of being further embedded throughout the supply chain in a series of workshops with contractors and sub-contractors.