Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

Sepp Blatter Andreas Meier/ZumaPress

The FIFA Syndrome

The arrest of senior FIFA executives on a raft of fraud and corruption charges has been front-page news in recent days. But the criminal charges do not address another egregious injustice: the treatment of the migrant workers in Qatar who are building the stadiums for the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup.

LONDON – The arrest of FIFA executives on a raft of fraud and corruption charges has been front-page news in recent days. But the charges brought by the Swiss and American authorities focus on bribery and embezzlement, and do not address another egregious injustice: the treatment of the migrant workers in Qatar who are building the stadiums for the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup.

Amnesty International recently released a report on the abysmal conditions in Qatar. The workers are subject to unsafe construction sites, exploitative recruitment agencies, and little recourse to formal justice. Recently, Nepal’s labor minister publicly spoke out about the government of Qatar not allowing his country’s migrant workers to return home to mourn relatives who died in the April 2015 earthquake.

As Amnesty International notes, the responsibility lies primarily with the Qatari authorities. But FIFA had – and still has – a responsibility to act. There have also been calls for sponsors, including McDonalds, Visa, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Budweiser, Gazprom, KIA, and Hyundai, to place pressure on FIFA and Qatar to improve working conditions.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/HD184Zi;
  1. wei22_FABRICE COFFRINIAFP via Getty Images_WTOredlight Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

    How to Revive the WTO

    Shang-Jin Wei & Xinding Yu

    The World Trade Organization’s appellate body is under threat not from China, but from the United States, which is blocking the appointment of new judges to the panel. Reviving the WTO will require changes to the organization's rules – but killing its dispute-settlement system is not the solution.

    0
  2. ghosh16_Yawar NazirGetty Images_indiakashmirmuslimwoman Yawar Nazir/Getty Images

    The Rape of India’s Soul

    Jayati Ghosh

    India’s rapid descent into xenophobia, violence, and irrationality has an important economic dimension, but it takes politicians to channel these emotions into nationalism, and to embolden the nationalists to commit violence. Now that the BJP has done so, is it able – or willing – to exorcise the many demons it has unleashed?

    10