Qatar’s ambassador to Germany has written to the German Football Association (DFB) to complain about its demand for a deadline to be imposed on improving working conditions at construction sites for the 2022 World Cup.
A recent Amnesty International report said the Gulf State had “not taken credible steps required to tackle widespread labour exploitation.”
The report comes “a year after the systemic abuse of migrant workers hit the headlines around the world.”
Late last month, DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach said FIFA should give Qatar a deadline to improve the conditions of workers of risk losing the right to host the 2022 World Cup.
“From the DFB’s perspective, it would be in Qatar’s interests to define a period at the end of which an independent body such as Amnesty International… checks and rates the working conditions at the World Cup stadiums,” Niersbach told Der Spiegel.
But those comments led the ambassador, Abdulrahman Al-Khulaifi, to write to the DFB, with Bild quoting him as saying: “Your statement unfortunately creates the impression that we are making little to no progress in our reforms. That’s not true.”
The paper quoted Niersbach as saying: “I have never spoken of an ultimatum. But I stand by my words — it would be in the interest of Qatar if progress was to be reviewed to end the debate.”
Meanwhile, Nasser Al-Khater, the CEO of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee told Sport Bild: “We have had no more deaths, and the living conditions [for workers] have improved.”
Qatar was backed by FIFA, which released a statement saying “that the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the subsequent international spotlight on Qatar is serving as a catalyst for social change.”