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Professional footballer Abdeslam Ouaddou urged FIFA to take the 2022 World Cup away from Qatar unless it ends the super-exploitation of workers.
Mr Quaddou – a former premier league player who moved to Qatar in 2011 to play for a top team, said he suffered exploitation under “kafalah” – a system where employers sponsor migrant workers and control their visa status
Speaking to the world’s media in Berlin at the ITUC World Congress today, he said: “The Qatar government believe they are above the law. It is FIFA who has the power to do something.”
He said his situation as a “privileged footballer” was bad but nothing compared to the fate of domestic migrant workers.
He added: “These are appalling conditions they have to work in, living with rats in filthy sanitary conditions, 40 to a room. We need the support of sporting people, trade unions and even governments to end kafalah.”
Labour analysts say between now and the 2022 world cup, up to 4,000 workers could die from preventable work related diseases and accidents.
ITUC general secretary Sharon Burrow sent a stern message to FIFA head Sepp Blatter, ahead of the football body’s congress in two weeks time.
“He has to find some backbone first,” she said.
“We want delegates to tell Sepp Blatter and the FIFA leadership; There can be no world cup without workers rights.”