World Cup stadium construction claims British worker's life in Qatar

More controversy following accusations of human rights abuses...

BY Craig Fitzpatrick 11:30 Friday 20 January 2017, 11:30 20 Jan 2017

A general view of a showcase stadium, during the FIFA Inspection Visit for the Qatar 2022 World Cup Bid, in Doha. Qatar is keeping quiet about the American and Swiss raids that have rocked footballs world governing body FIFA and thrown a new unwelcome spotlight on the tiny Gulf nations hosting of the 2022 World Cup. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal, File)

A British man has died while working on a stadium for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The unnamed 40-year-old died on Thursday while working at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, according to organisers.

The venue, which is also known as National Stadium, forms part of the Doha Sports City complex and will host games up to the quarter-final stage in 2022.

Originally built in 1976, Khalifa the stadium has been undergoing renovation to be compliant with FIFA's stadium requirements.

According to the Doha Sports City official website, work was due to finish on the flagship venue in 2016.

It is not yet clear what caused the accident.

A statement from Qatar said "the relevant authorities have been notified and the next of kin has been informed.

"An immediate investigation into the cause of this fatality is underway and further details will be released in due course.

"The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy shares our deepest condolences with the family for their loss."

Controversy has surrounded the Qatar building programme since the Emirate was awarded the World Cup in 2010.

Poor safety records on Qatari building sites have led to claims that 1,200 migrants have died while building stadiums for the footballing event since Qatar was awarded the World Cup in 2010.

Campaigners have previously called on FIFA to take action, claiming the death toll could reach 4,000 before the tournament takes place in eight years' time.

Amnesty International also reported in March 2016 that it had exposed exploitation of migrant workers building Khalifa International Stadium, a ground slated to host a World Cup semi-final in 2022.

"Despite promising to improve protections, Qatar has failed to adequately reform its exploitative migrant labour system", the human rights group said.

It claimed that migrant workers need their employer's consent to leave the country and change jobs.

"Bosses' excessive control over their workers' lives puts workers at risk of exploitation, and sometimes even forced labour", Amnesty added.

It said workers often live in cramped, dirty and unsafe accommodation, claiming men are sleeping on bunk beds in rooms for eight or more people.

Following the publication of the report, Colm O'Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, told Newstalk:

"Despite five years of promises, FIFA has failed almost completely to stop the World Cup being built on human rights abuses".

The World Cup, which is held every four years, will be held in Russia in 2018.

Additional reporting by IRN


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