The Qatari monarchy has never been known for respecting or indulging in human rights and with the upcoming 2022 World Cup their disregard for migrant workers has been exposed. Whilst many are aware that the Gulf countries abuse these workers and provide them with appalling workers conditions, it has only recently provoked worldwide outrage. Nevertheless, FIFA believes that by allowing Qatar to host the World Cup there will be social improvements in the countries labour rights and migrant workers conditions (Burrow, 2014). Ironically, the only true beneficiaries of this “prestigious” event will be FIFA and Qatar.
The ITUC has estimated that there will be a minimum of 4000 migrant worker deaths in preparation for the lavished infrastructure being built for 2022 (Burrow, 2014). Sadly, this is an extremely modest number as it is only based upon the deaths of half of the migrant workers. In an article of The Guardian it was recorded that in 2013 Nepalese workers were dying at an average rate of 1 per day during the summer (2013). These migrant workers are literally being worked to death, with long hours, poor security measures and working under the scorching heat. On top of all of that when workers begin their employment in the country most of the time their sponsors will remove their passports from them, not allowing them to leave. Many of the times they are not getting paid and living in atrocious and overcrowded housing (Lynch, 2014). The Guardian reported that these workers are getting paid as little as 45 pence an hour, which goes against FIFA’s “worker welfare rules” (Booth & Pattisson, 2014).
Qatar, like most Gulf countries, is the ideal location for capitalism to flourish. It allows for the exploitation of migrant workers for cheap labour to enrich the country without exhausting the local population. Marxist analysis of the capital accumulation believes that it is necessary for class struggle and exploitation (Burnham, 2010). Qatar is an excellent example of how this is done and how the world system allows it to happen.
The bid, which allowed this Gulf kingdom to host the World cup has not only exposed the horrific treatment of workers but also the level of corruption within FIFA. A leaked email between two senior officials insinuated that Qatar used its vast amount of wealth to buy the bid and be the 2022 host (Hughs, 2011). Funny enough, hosting the World cup is meant to reflect a better image of the country, however, in this case, it has done the exact opposite. It would be a complete outrage to allow a country like Qatar to host an event such as the World Cup. It would imply that the world turns a blind eye to human rights and that money will allow you to get away with murder, quite literally.
Luisa H Castro
Booth, R. and Pattisson, P. (2014). Qatar World Cup stadium workers earn as little as 45p an hour. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jul/29/qatar-world-cup-stadium-workers-earn-45p-hour [Accessed on: 8 November 2014].
Burham, P. (2010). Class, Capital and Crisis: A Return to Fundamentals. Political Studies Review. [online] 8 (1), 27-38. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.mdx.ac.uk/doi/10.1111/j.1478-9302.2009.00204.x/full [Accessed on 20 November 2014].
Burrow, S (2014). Qatar: FIFA must act. Available on: https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/sharan-burrow/qatar-fifa-must-act [Accessed on: 10 November 2014].
Hughs, P. (2011). FIFA Officials Hinted Qatar “Bought” World Cup. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/sports/soccer/31iht-FIFA31.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C%7B%222%22%3A%22RI%3A13%22%7D&_r=0. [Accessed on: 10 November 2014].
Lynch, J. (2014). Qatar’s migrant workers have been abandoned. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/28/qatar-migrant-workers-world-cup-exploited-unpaid [Accessed 6 November 2014].
Pattisson, P. (2013). Revealed: Qatar’s World Cup ‘slaves’. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/25/revealed-qatars-world-cup-slaves. [Accessed on: 9 November 2014].