Death on FIFA 2022 World Cup stadium

A British man working on Khalifa International Stadium, one of the 2022 FIFA World Cup venues, has plummetted to his death

Khalifa International Stadium is due to be the first of the World Cup stadia to be completed.
Khalifa International Stadium is due to be the first of the World Cup stadia to be completed.

The FIFA 2022 World Cup has claimed a British worker’s life.

The Supreme Council for Delivery and Legacy, (SC) which is responsible for building World Cup infrastructure, said in a statement that a British worker had died on the Khalifa International Stadium on Thursday, 19 January.

No details or identification of the deceased were forthcoming other than he plummeted to his death when the platform, used to manage sound and lighting, collapsed.

Construction contractor on Khalifa Stadium Midmac-Six Construct, said that the man’s safety harness was cut during the fall.

British Labour said the Qatari authorities and FIFA had been putting "profit before safety", and urged Fifa to investigate.

The man was employed by a South African subcontractor, which was working for a German firm.

Human rights’ group Amnesty International said that this is the second death reported by the SC relating to a workplace incident at one of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums in the last three months, having raised concerns last year about working conditions for labourers who were deployed in refurbishing the stadium, accusing Qatar of using forced labour.

It followed previous reports in 2015 of some 1,200 workers who had died constructing buildings in Qatar for the World Cup event.

The local authorities however have hotly disputed these claims and repeatedly pointed out that the World Cup sites have a good safety record for workers.

Amnesty’s global issues deputy director, James Lynch, said this recent incident was “very concerning”, and urged the organisers to further investigate what safety measures were in place.

Midmac-Six Construct said in a statement that a lever hoist supporting the platform failed “for unknown reasons”, adding that it was working with the local authorities to investigate the actual cause of the accident.

The statement added: “All of the partners involved in this project are devastated by such a tragic loss of life and we extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family, friends and colleagues”.

The SC said the man’s next of kin had been informed, while the British Foreign Office said it was in touch with the local authorities and ready to support the man's family “at this very difficult time”.

BBC News reported that Britain’s Labour shadow sports minister Rosena Allin-Khan said of the British man’s death: “This kind of incident is becoming all too common... and it's unacceptable that basic health and safety precautions are not being followed.

“FIFA and the Qatari authorities are putting profit before safety,” the official added.

She also stressed that FIFA’s new president Gianni Infantino should “show where his priorities lie, launch an urgent investigation and ensure everything is done to protect workers”.

FIFA said it “deeply regrets” the loss of life, and that the local authorities and the Supreme Committee were investigating the circumstances.

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