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World Cup 2022 Qatar: Qatar's World Cup deadlier than 9/11 and Pearl Harbor?

By Eduardo Mendez (eddie.mendez1985@gmail.com)
on Mar 25, 2014 09:43 AM EDT
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FIFA President Sepp Blatter reacts during a news conference after being re-elected for a fourth term as president of world soccer's governing body during the 61st FIFA congress at the Hallenstadion in
FIFA President Sepp Blatter reacts during a news conference after being re-elected for a fourth term as president of world soccer's governing body during the 61st FIFA congress at the Hallenstadion in Zurich June 1, 2011. (Photo : Reuters)

A recent report from the International Trade Union Confederation found some damning evidence in the case against Qatar to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. According to the confederation's estimates, as many as 4,000 migrant workers will die before the storied competition even takes place, an estimate based on mortality trends previously reported by the embassies within the country's borders.

What was to be the most celebrated tournament in the world of football is projected to be responsible for more lives than the terrorist attacks of September 11 (approximately 3,000) and Pearl Harbor (2,402).

According to the report, 1,200 workers have already died since the World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010. That's 1,198 more casualties than South Africa suffered in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 1,195 more than Russia's preparations for 2018. Horror stories like the one suffered by Adrian—a construction manager subjected to a case study—have plagued the country's efforts to host the competition. "Site safety is the worst I have encountered in 30 years in construction. The welfare facilities are the worst I have ever encountered in and out of construction," Adrian said.

"I went on site one morning at 5 a.m. and there was blood everywhere. I don't know what happened, but it was covered up with no report.," he added.

"When I reported this, I was told that if I didn't stop complaining, I would be dismissed."

On average, about 20 Indian migrants died per month in 2013. That average peaked at 27 during August, largely considered to be the hottest month of the year. According to diplomatic sources, the Qatari government is harassing embassy officials to keep quiet about these deaths in order to keep the flow of labor coming.

Migrant workers make up more than half the population of Qatar (1.4 million), a tiny nation that only houses 2.068 million people. Under Kafala Law, migrant workers are essentially indentured servants and completely at the mercy of their employers. Passports have been confiscated. Jobs cannot be changed. Lives have been taken.

Is all this worth hosting a World Cup? Tell us @SportsWN

You can read the ITUC's full report here.

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