The number of worker fatalities for the World Cup has been estimated for the first time by a key Qatari official involved in the country’s World Cup organization to be “between 400 and 500,” a far higher estimate than any previously provided by Doha.
During an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan, Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary-general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, made what seemed to be an off-the-cuff remark.
Additionally, it posed a risk of reigniting human rights organizations’ criticism of the cost of hosting the first World Cup in the Middle East on the migrant workers who constructed the stadiums, metro systems, and other new infrastructure necessary for the event, costing over $200 billion.
What honest, the real number do you believe of migrant workers that perished due to their job being done for the World Cup overall? Morgan released excerpts of the interview with al-Thawadi online. ”
Al-Thawadi replies, “The estimate is 400, between 400 and 500.”
“I don’t know the precise amount.
That has been brought up for discussion.
But Qatari officials haven’t before discussed that sum in public.
The number of worker fatalities related to the construction and renovation of the stadiums currently hosting the World Cup is the only information provided in reports from the Supreme Committee that span the years 2014 through the end of 2021.
These newly disclosed statistics put the overall death toll at 40.
They include three workplace occurrences and 37 from what the Qataris call nonwork incidents, such as heart attacks.
A separate report lists a worker who perished from the coronavirus during the pandemic.
Al-Thawadi mentioned those numbers in the interview about the construction of stadiums alone, just before stating that “between 400 and 500” people died building the tournament’s whole infrastructure.
Al-Thawadi was referring to “national figures covering the period of 2014-2020 for all work-related fatalities (414) nationally in Qatar, covering all industries and nationalities,” according to a later statement from the Supreme Committee.
Since FIFA gave Qatar the tournament in 2010, the nation has changed its employment policies.
The so-called kafala employment structure, which bound employees to their employers and gave them control over whether they might quit their positions or even the country, must be abolished as part of this process.
Additionally, Qatar has established a minimum monthly income of 1,000 Qatari riyals ($275) for workers and mandated housing and food stipends for individuals who do not already get these benefits from their employers.
To avoid fatalities, it has also modified its worker safety regulations.
“One fatality is one too many. Simply put,” al-Thawadi continues in the interview.