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"These people paid the ultimate price for Qatar's World Cup experiment" | Matt Slater

Reports have indicated that as many as 6,500 migrants have died since Qatar won hosting rights in 2010.

The Athletic's Matt Slater believes Qatar will never be able to justify the deaths of migrant workers during preparations for the 2022 World Cup.

It is less than 12 months to go before the controversial World Cup gets underway. The first group game kicks off on November 21st, 2022.

However, reports have indicated that as many as 6,500 migrants have died since Qatar won hosting rights in 2010.

The Middle Eastern country has made considerable efforts to generate good publicity in light of scrutiny from human rights organisations.

Most recently, England legend David Beckham has voiced his support for the 2022 World Cup. Slater has examined Beckham's relationship with the event in a recent piece for The Athletic.

Slater joined Joe Molloy on Wednesday night's Football Show. He explained that there are complexities when discussing Qatar's human rights record since their successful World Cup bid.

"They have made progress - they said they would," Slater noted. "We've repeatedly asked them questions about it; has it been quick enough? Have they delivered on time? Is there still a lot to do?"

"If you work on a building site controlled by the Supreme Committee - the organising committee of the World Cup - life's not bad. I'm not sure I'd want to do it, but then we get into really philosophical issues there around just how lucky we are to be born in the West, quite frankly."

"Also, we have to remember how far we've come, and the way we built canals and railways, and all of our infrastructure. We have to be careful that we're not being hypocrites."

"All of that said, it's the migrant deaths that is the hardest one for Qatar to swerve."

Slater: "It's impossible for Qatar's PR people to justify this"

Slater also believes that Qatar's ambition has led to the surge in migrant deaths and the ensuing negative press.

"It's completely legitimate for a country to have a plan around diversifying its economy, using its money to help its people and grow as a nation," Slater contends.

"It's also legitimate to use major events - and we've done this - as a catalyst and a means to project soft power."

"But, they chose to bid for a World Cup; they also chose to bid for an Olympics, and they weren't even getting on the starting line, because the IOC just didn't think they'd be ready for it."

"FIFA let them onto the starting line, and then they won that contest."

"By making that choice, they were saying: 'we're going to accelerate what we want to do, with hotels, a new port, a new airport and new roads.'"

"That means that, in a country of 300,000 people, they were going to need an awful lot more help."

"As a country, they weren't ready; they're still not really ready," Slater added.

"They weren't ready culturally. They weren't ready in terms of basic infrastructure - 'where do we put these people? How do we pay these people? Is our legal system up to scratch?'"

"None of these things were ready. Some of these people paid the ultimate price for this kind of experiment, this accelerated national plan for relevance."

"For me, that one is impossible for Qatar's clever, nice PR people to justify."

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