How has FIFA been reacting to reports of migrant worker mistreatment in Qatar?

The Times' Martyn Ziegler reacts to the Amnesty International report on Off The Ball

Qatar, 2022

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)

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has always been under scrutiny regarding migrant worker's rights.

A new report from Amnesty International has put the microscope over the future tournament as preparations continue in earnest.

Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland Colm O'Gorman explains that, "Despite five years of promises, FIFA has failed almost completely to stop the World Cup being built on human rights abuses".

The Times' chief sports writer Martyn Ziegler joined Off The Ball on tonight's show and he says the report is "very shocking".


In this combination of eight file photos taken on a government-organized media tour Sunday, May 3, 2015, laborers pose for a portrait at a workers' accommodation camp, in Doha, Qatar. Migrant laborers faced abuse that in some cases amounted to forced labor while working on a stadium that will host soccer matches for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a new report released by Amnesty International alleged Thursday, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

While he explained that more recent on-the-ground research carried out by the United Nations report does show some improvements in some cases, he feels that "certainly, the research that was carried out last year creates a huge, huge problem." 

He explained the issues faced by migrant workers in Qatar include confiscation of passports, threats and issues with less pay than agreed and major delays in receiving salaries.

Ziegler believes FIFA needs to get involved but he also detailed their response to the major question marks over workers' rights in Qatar.

"They have been, I think considering the fact that they've got a new president, they've been highly defensive about this. They disagree with the findings of the report. They think having the World Cup is a catalyst for change. I think they should really be much more on the front foot and be demanding to have their own independent inspectors going in," he said.