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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Scotland fans urged to ‘show FIFA and Qatar the red card’ ahead of World Cup

Scotland’s largest trade union body are calling for Scotland fans to “show FIFA and Qatar the Red Card” ahead of the World Cup in November.

A protest of the Qatar 2022 World Cup has been called after it was revealed nearly 6800 migrant workers have died in the run-up to the tournament.

The Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) are launching their protest outside Hampden this Saturday ahead of the Scotland vs Ireland game.

Scotland fans will be encouraged to support the calls of the STUC who will be leafleting outside the grounds of the national stadium.

They are calling for the Scottish FA to support their calls for a migrant workers centre to be set up in the Qatari state.

The STUC will also be raising funds for Amnesty International on behalf of the migrant workers.

The campaign launched by the STUC

In April, the trade union body condemned the tournament at their annual congress, which has been faced with allegations of bribery and corruption.

In a letter to Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell, shared with STV News, the STUC general secretary Roz Foyer claimed Scotland has a “moral obligation” to support workers who have paid the price of their lives for the tournament to happen.

The letter reads: “Football can be a force for good in the world. Workers can be that driving force. By establishing a Migrant Workers Centre as a legacy of Qatar, we send out the clear message that workers’ rights should be upheld and the labour of migrant workers can no longer be exploited in the pursuit of sporting glory.”

FIFA awarded the World Cup to Qatar in 2010 despite only two small stadiums being available at the time. The vote was made on the promise that nine state-of-the-art stadiums would be ready for 2022.

However, the tight timescale has meant all year round work through the summer in temperature which can reach 50 degrees C.

The campaign from the STUC has been backed by FIFPRO and PFA Scotland.

Commenting on the campaign, Roz Foyer said: “This World Cup has been built on the backs of workers. We cannot permit this tournament to pass without calling out the lethal conditions workers endured making it possible.

“Football can be a force for good in the world. The Scottish FA, as an associate member of FIFA, can lead the charge in giving a voice to workers who have been exploited so brutally in the pursuit of sporting glory.

“It’s our moral obligation to seek justice for the workers who have died. We support the call from FIFPRO that Qatar creates a Migrant Workers Centre, empowering and supporting workers within the state on their employment rights and skills. 

“This must not happen again. As a pre-requisite, FIFA must demand any state hosting a World Cup has stringent employment rights that do not exploit, undermine or threaten the safety of workers in the building of the tournament.”

FIFPRO General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann: “Workers in the most vulnerable positions from countries such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines, Pakistan and some African countries still fear retaliation if they denounce exploitation unpaid wages and long working hours.

“Those who have escaped poverty in their home country fear losing their job and their salaries. They continue to face the threat of exploitation and unsafe working conditions. The Migrant Workers Centre will help workers and their representatives defend themselves and allow them to effectively cooperate with Qatari authorities on pressing issues.”

Fraser Wishart CEO PFA Scotland: “We will all avidly watch the World Cup because we want to be part of the joy, fair competition, and fantastic football on the pitch.

“Our enjoyment however should not a come at a human cost. A method of justice and compensation must be provided by the organisers, in particular to those who have lost their lives in the construction of the stadium and infrastructure for the tournament

“With only two months until the first ball is kicked, FIFA must take its own responsibilities seriously and fulfil its human rights responsibilities to these workers.

“We support FIFPRO’s demand for a Migrant Workers Centre to be setup and call upon FIFA to take the lead by exploring how access to procedures that can achieve fair remedies to migrant workers can be provided to all those who have been negatively affected.”

STV News have contacted the Scottish FA for comment.

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