January 22 – Qatar and FIFA have jointly published a comprehensive strategy covering sustainability ahead of the 2022 World Cup, including pledges on workers’ rights and environmental issues.
Qatar has faced intense scrutiny over its treatment of migrant labourers as well as its laws over homosexuality.
But the 112-page ‘Sustainability Strategy’ sets out commitments on making the tournament inclusive for everyone and as environmentally clean as possible following consultation with over 100 national and international governmental, non-governmental and private sector organisations.
“In less than three years’ time, the FIFA World Cup will be held in the Arab world for the first time, in a fast-growing economy and in the most geographically compact area since the inaugural edition of the tournament in 1930,” said a joint statement.
“Qatar presents… unparalleled opportunities to leave a lasting positive legacy beyond the event.”
“A total of 22 objectives have been described in detail, together with more than 70 concrete initiatives and programmes to deliver the strategy.”
“Efforts include measures to protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all the associated workers, especially migrant workers in Qatar, and to avoid any forced and child labour.”
Five years in the making, the strategy applies to all functional areas and projects involved in the preparations for and staging of the tournament.
The report stresses that FIFA events prohibit “discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, language, religion, opinion, wealth, birth or any other status”.
“As a host country for the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar is fully aware of its responsibility to adhere to FIFA’s human rights and non-discrimination” policies.
FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said the tournament “offers us a unique opportunity to bring about positive change – one that FIFA and Qatar cannot, and will not, let slip away”.
Hassan Al Thawadi, head of the 2022 World Cup organisers, added: “When Qatar bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, it did so with a vision to use the tournament as a catalyst for sustainable, long-term change in Qatar and across the Arab world.
“From the start, we believed in the power of football and the FIFA World Cup to inspire innovation, to build bridges between cultures and peoples and to accelerate positive social transformation. Our measure of success for the tournament in Qatar will ultimately be the legacy it leaves behind. This strategy will help Qatar to realise that vision and ensure its success.”
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