Qatar 'must improve labour conditions'

Human rights organisation Amnesty International believes organisers of the Qatar World Cup in 2022 can and should improve their treatment of migrant workers.

In a week in which a FIFA task force recommended the tournament be held in November and December amid fears over the risks of playing during the country's stiflingly hot summer months, other concerns still persist, with deaths having been recorded on World Cup construction sites.

Amnesty International's Gulf migrant rights researcher Mustafa Qadri explained to Perform: "We are not opposed to Qatar hosting the World Cup, we don't take issue as to when it should be played either.

"Our concern is about migrant labour abuse. In fact, that's relevant for any place in the world. Now I happen to cover Qatar, but we investigate migrant labour abuse across the world. 

"We also feel very strongly that Qatar has the capacity to actually improve the situation.

"What we'd say to the Qataris is that we're not just here to complain about poor working conditions, but that we feel that they can make the changes. 

"It's really up to them now because we all would rather celebrate the World Cup in Qatar 2022 for the games, rather than think of it as a time when shocking labour abuse took place."

Qadri also urged FIFA to bring in regulations to govern treatment of migrant workers at the initial bid stage.

"We've been saying to FIFA for a very long time, that mandatory human rights requirements have to be part of any assessment of who takes the bid," he added.

"If you don't put that into requirements, my concern is that it will be swept under the rug, meanwhile a whole range of abuse could be taking place under one of the shadows under one of these major international sporting events."