By Andrew Warshaw
Category: World Football
Published on Monday, 28 October 2013 11:18
October 28 - FIFA president Sepp Blatter will make a personal visit to the emir of Qatar on November 9 to discuss the treatment of migrant workers following highly publicised reports of severe labour rights abuses that have caused widespread embarrassment to organisers of the 2022 World Cup.
The issue has become almost as much of a talking point - if not more so - than the debate over whether to play the World Cup in winter or summer and Blatter has been mandated by his executive committee to raise concerns over what has been described as 'modern slave labour' .
The Qatari government has opened an immediate inquiry into the reports and Blatter will meet rulers of the Gulf state including a courtesy visit to Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani who took over as emir following his father's abdication in June.
"I will meet the emir and take up the discussions and problems," Blatter told reporters in London, stressing he wanted to hear both sides of the story.
"It's like a bell that goes ding dong," said Blatter. "You have only one end we have to look at the other side. But we are very much concerned about working conditions there and I will bring it to the attention ... of the emir. I'll then go back to the executive committee."
Blatter, who is understood to have voted for the US over Qatar at the 2022 ballot three years ago, added: "This is a matter that is really in FIFA's mind. When I see how much young people are concerned by this, it's something that is really now in my heart."
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