CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Police raids of FIFA offices in Zurich and Miami last year resulted in some rather flattering revelations for the illegal migrant underclass of Qatar.
That is, if it weren’t for them – the barren desert Gulf state would not have been chosen to host the 2022 FIFA Soccer World Cup.
“It is very flattering” says a dehydrated Nepalese worker by the name of Aadarsh.
“My family would be proud. Unfortunately, I lost most of them in the Nepal earthquakes. I’m not sure how many, my employers prevented me from going to their funerals by confiscating my passport,”
A 2014 report from the International Trade Union Confederation revealed that indentured servants from Nepal and India made up 5% of Qatar’s migrant population, however it was not able to clarify if these statistics included “illegals” – of which majority of those involved in the construction of FIFA World Cup Stadiums are.
This is due to the Qatar’s age-old kafala system, in which an employer has near-total control over the lives of the migrant workers that are fed false promises regarding living conditions, nonexistent safety protocols, wages, and length of employment, and can be kept enslaved by withholding both salaries and passports.
The report also makes it clear that “Whether the cause of death is labeled a work accident, heart attack (brought on by the life threatening effects of heat stress) or diseases from squalid living conditions, the root cause is the same—working conditions.”
Aadarsh says that while conditions are rather grim, he is inspired to learn that FIFA, a committee of international delegates who work to promote peace, has based their decisions around his countrymen and their hard work.
“We are right on track to get this all built by 2022, FIFA are not sure what month the tournament should be played. I would say winter is better”
“Too many people die here during summer. And if FIFA want to make people play soccer here, they should do it in the winter months,”
“It’s quite touching, I am very honoured to learn that the ‘world game’ depends on me risking my life.”