Sponsor and FA pressure builds on FIFA to agree compensation for migrant workers

September 20 – The German FA and four major FIFA sponsors have upped the pressure on the world federation and local organisers to offer compensation to migrant workers and their families in Qatar.

FIFA should “take its own responsibilities seriously” and set up a compensation fund for migrant workers in Qatar, said Bernd Neuendorf, the president of the DFB, the German FA, while AB Inbev/Budweiser, Adidas, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have stated their support for a remediation programme.

Budweiser said: “We support access to procedures that can achieve fair remedies to migrant workers who have been negatively affected.”

Coca-Cola added that it continues “to engage in discussions with sponsors and FIFA to explore how best to build upon the progress being made in Qatar to further expand access to effective remedies for migrant workers,” and “encourages FIFA to build on its efforts to date to imbed respect for human rights into the lifecycle of this and future World Cup events, including effective structures to support remedy.”

A recent survey by Amnesty International suggested that the majority of football fans support compensation for migrant workers in Qatar and their families. Almost three-quarters (73%) of surveyed adults support the call for a fund and more than two-thirds (67%) want their national Football Associations to speak out publicly about the human rights issues associated with the World Cup in Qatar.

Earlier this year a coalition of Human Rights groups called on FIFA and World Cup host Qatar to compensate migrant workers and their families for the human rights abuses they have suffered with the #PayUpFIFA campaign, demanding a fund of $440 million, the equivalent of the prize money that will be on offer during the global finals.

“Brands buy rights to sponsor the World Cup because they want to be associated with joy, fair competition, and spectacular human achievement on the playing field—not rampant wage theft and the deaths of workers who made the World Cup possible,” said director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch Minky Worden.

“With only two months until the first ball is kicked, sponsors should use their considerable leverage to press FIFA and Qatar to fulfil their human rights responsibilities to these workers.”

To date other FIFA sponsors Visa, Hyundai-Kia, Wanda Group, Qatar Energy, Qatar Airways, Vivo, Hisense, Mengniu, Crypto, and Byju’s have remained silent.

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