FIFA set up worker welfare body for 2022 World Cup
FIFA president Gianni Infantino acknowledged that there are still 'many challenges' during a two-day visit to Qatar
The head of FIFA has urged Qatar to hasten improvements in safety and labour conditions for builders working on the sites for the 2022 World Cup and declared "We will not just sit and wait".
During a two-day visit to Qatar, Gianni Infantino acknowledged that there were still "many challenges" as he announced plans for a special working group to monitor conditions.
Amnesty International reported on abuses in Qatar's preparations for the World Cup in a wide-raning report based on the accounts of 132 workers at the sites.
It found construction workers from Nepal and India had been charged recruitment fees and housed in squalid conditions.
"I acknowledge very much the efforts which are being done. I want to see these efforts now being put in practice," Infantino, elected as president of the scandal-plagued federation in February, told reporters. "Of course we will not just sit and wait.
"FIFA will step up its efforts in overseeing....in order to ensure the protection of the workers' rights in the construction of the FIFA World Cup sites is fulfilled."
The head of Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Hassan al-Thawadi, has said Doha is working to reduce abuses he described as occurring on construction sites all over the world.
Infantino faces pressure from human rights groups to press for reform of labour laws in Qatar including its "kafala" sponsorship system, whereby employers effectively control a worker's freedom to leave the country.