On a recent visit to a labor camp in Al Khor, Qatar, Len McCluskey, the leader of the UK’s Unite trade union, remarked on the poor conditions in which migrant workers are forced to live. Referring to the upcoming 2022 World Cup, McCluskey stated that “football is a beautiful game turned ugly by the heartbreaking ill-treatment of wave after wave of workers lured to Qatar on the false promises, then trapped in a living hell.” In response, McCluskey has vowed to form a united front with MPs, campaigners, and the Professional Footballers Association. He intends for this front to demand that all five candidates vying for the FIFA presidency guarantee to implement more stringent labor and living standards for migrant workers.
McCluskey’s demands come amid calls for the World Cup to be moved to the United States for 2022. Should corruption and bribery be revealed in Qatar’s contested nomination process, such a change is likely . While this move could potentially alleviate the conditions for migrant workers, it would also draw international focus away from Qatar, allowing such abusive and deceptive practices to continue.
Lydia Bates is an advocacy intern at ADHRB.