EU Parliament against Infantino: “Big corruption in FIFA”
Today, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in the context of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. MEPs stressed that Qatar won the FIFA World Cup bidding process amid credible allegations of corruption and bribery, and deplore the deaths and injuries of thousands of migrant workers, mainly in the construction sector, who they helped the country prepare for the tournament.”
The non-legislative text was adopted by show of hands. Describing corruption within FIFA as ‘rampant, systemic and deeply rooted’, MEPs deplore the lack of transparency and clear lack of responsible risk assessment that characterized the choice of Qatar as World Cup host country FIFA in 2010, underlining how FIFA has seriously damaged the image and integrity of world football.
Parliament urges EU countries, especially those with major national football leagues, such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain, to put pressure on UEFA and FIFA to commit to key reforms. Among these, the introduction of democratic and transparent procedures for the allocation of the World Cup and the rigorous application of human rights and sustainability criteria for host countries.
“To protect athletes and fans and put an end to the practice of so-called ‘sportswashing’, international sporting events should not be awarded to countries which violate fundamental and human rights and where gender-based violence is systematic”, reads the resolution adopted by the European Parliament.
There are more than two million foreign nationals in Qatar, according to estimates, who make up about 94 percent of the country’s workforce. MEPs welcome the fact that, according to the ILO (International Labor Organisation), the Qatari government has repaid US$320 million to victims of wage abuse through the Workers’ Insurance and Support Fund.
However, they regret the exclusion of millions of workers and their families from its application and call for the fund to be expanded to include all victims since the 2022 FIFA World Cup-related work began, including all deaths and other human rights violations. They are also calling on FIFA to contribute to a comprehensive compensation scheme for workers’ families, as compensation for the working conditions suffered.
Recognizing the important contribution of migrant workers to the Qatari economy and to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, “Parliament urges the Qatari authorities to conduct a comprehensive investigation into their deaths. It also supports Qatar’s efforts to improve working conditions and workers’ rights, as highlighted by the international community, but calls for the full implementation of the adopted reforms.”
MEPs also deplore abuses perpetrated by the country’s authorities against the LGBTQ+ community, including the use of national laws that allow pre-trial detention of LGBTQ+ people without charge or trial for up to six months. In the resolution, Qatar is urged to strengthen measures to ensure gender equality, including by abolishing what remains of the women’s protection system, and to step up efforts to achieve equal representation of women in the formal labor market.