Derry Mayor raises Qatar human rights concerns with FIFA

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Derry’s Mayor, Colr. Martin Reilly has written to FIFA to raise concerns over the treatment of construction workers in Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

Martin Reilly said he has asked football’s governing body for immediate action following Amnesty International’s report , “The Dark Side of Migration: Spotlight on Qatar’s construction sector ahead of the World Cup”.

That report claims human rights abuses amid the exploitation of migrant workers working on preparations for the 2022 World Cup.

“I feel it is my civic duty to highlight the issues raised in the Amnesty International report in relation to exploitation and unsafe working conditions in Qatar as recent winners of the 2022 World Cup bid,” he said.

“Although neither Northern Ireland nor Republic of Ireland teams have qualified for the next 2014 World Cup, the citizens of this island are nonetheless eagerly awaiting the tournament and will no doubt travel in large numbers to Brazil to attend matches, interest which will be replicated in the World Cup in Russia and continue in Qatar.”

The Mayor continued:”I recently had the pleasure of welcoming many young footballers to Derry as part of the IFA ‘Search for a Star’ event and it is with this in mind that I urge FIFA to assert their responsibility to the Qatari Government in addressing issues such as unacceptable working conditions and exploitation of migrant workers which are raised in the report.

“It is essential that councils and governments now put pressure in order to positively change these circumstances prior to 2022, both to set a good example for young people entering this sport as well as to the spectators of one of the world’s biggest sporting events. I await the response from FIFA,” he said.