The decision to award the World Cup to Qatar has been widely condemned. There were allegations of bribery and corruption in the bidding process, while the tournament had to be moved to winter as the extreme heat of the summer was unsafe.
But the main source of criticism has come as a result of the conditions for migrant workers, with several outlets reporting them to be substandard. The Qatari government introduced have new labour laws in recent years, but many believe that these have not made a substantial difference.
Various human rights groups have set up the #PayUpFIFA campaign. The appeal aims to get FIFA to set aside a minimum of $440 million in compensation for migrant workers who have been affected by the conditions in Qatar.
Market research company YouGov conducted a survey, polling over 17,000 adults across 15 countries. According to Amnesty International, 73% of those surveyed are in support of the #PayUpFIFA campaign.
That support increases to 84% among those who intend to watch at least one World Cup match. Meanwhile, 67% claimed they want their country’s national FAs to speak out against the human rights abuses in Qatar.
Speaking about the campaign, Amnesty International’s Head of Economic and Social Justice Steve Cockburn said: “These findings send a clear message to football’s leadership. Across the globe, people are united in their desire to see FIFA step up and make amends for the suffering endured by migrant workers in Qatar.
“With less than 70 days until kick off, the clock is ticking. But there is still time for FIFA to do the right thing. Supporters don’t want a World Cup that’s indelibly tainted by human rights abuses. The past cannot be undone, but a compensation programme is a clear and simple way that FIFA and Qatar can provide at least some measure of redress to the hundreds of thousands of workers who made this tournament possible.”
Some of football’s biggest names have also come out in support of the #PayUpFIFA campaign, with Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer both backing the idea on Twitter.
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