September 23 – German FA president Bernd Neuendorf has added his voice to growing demands that FIFA sets cash aside for a compensation fund for migrant workers in World Cup host Qatar.
Speaking at a conference, Neuendorf pointed to FIFA’s responsibility in staging the World Cup in Qatar, which was awarded the hosting rights in 2010, in particular over its human rights record and labour law issues tied to the kafala system.
Neuendorf said “FIFA has adopted a human rights policy and it expressly states that FIFA will pay compensation where it has taken responsibility for tournaments, for measures it takes. That’s why I would like to draw attention to the fact that you have to live and comply with our own stated principles.”
On Tuesday the German FA and four major FIFA sponsors upped the pressure on FIFA and local organisers to offer compensation to migrant workers and their families.
Earlier this year, human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, called for FIFA and local organisers to set up a compensation fund for the migrant workers and their families, who had suffered human rights abuses in Qatar, to the tune of $440 million, the amount at stake in prize money during the World Cup.
However, stakeholders have been reluctant to engage. US Soccer is believed to be exploring the idea.
Football Australia does not see the fund as a solution, writing in a statement: “We appreciate there are calls for the establishment of a workers’ compensation fund. However, there also exists the need to ensure that workers’ rights continue to be adequately represented into the future and that the momentum for reform does not diminish after December 2022 – this was the strongest feedback received by Football Australia from its inquiries of local stakeholders, including workers.”
The Brazilian FA, the CBF, have not engaged at all.
Some FIFA sponsors have however come out with limited support for the fund, including McDonald’s and Budweiser.
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