The head of the Qatar World Cup Organizing Committee downplayed the death of an immigrant worker: “Death is part of life”

Nasser Al Khater, CEO of the World Cup (Reuters)
Nasser Al Khater, CEO of the World Cup (Reuters)

The executive director of the Qatar World Cup claimed that “death is part of life”, in a cold response to the tragic death of another migrant worker who has died at a training site.

Nasser Al Khater, Executive Director of the 2022 World Cup in Doha, confirmed the worker’s death, without giving further details. He offered his condolences to the family but refused to talk about it.

Death is a natural part of life, whether at work or while you sleepKhater stated, expressing disappointment at journalists’ questions about the report.

‘We are in the middle of a World Cup. And we have a successful World Cup. And now you want to talk about this?” he added.

According to The Athleticthe deceased would be a filipino about 40 years old fell from a forklift when he was repairing the lighting in a parking lot. Several sources said that was not wearing a safety harness.

For its part, the Qatari government said Thursday that it was investigating the death of a worker at a work accident at base camp saudi arabia during the World Cup, after the fact was reflected in the press.

Migrant workers in Doha watch a World Cup match (Reuters)
Migrant workers in Doha watch a World Cup match (Reuters)

“If the investigation concludes that the security protocols were not respected, the company is exposed to judicial investigations and harsh economic sanctions,” the government said in a statement.

“The Philippine embassy in Doha is also investigating this case,” the Philippine Foreign Ministry told AFP, unable to provide further details at this time.

In another statement, FIFA declared itself “deeply saddened by this tragedy”. “We have contacted the local authorities to ask for more details,” the organization added in a statement.

In Doha, the supreme organizing committee of the World Cup said in a statement that it was not the employer of the worker in question and that the accident occurred “on property that is not under its jurisdiction.”

However, the committee said it was following the case “with the competent authorities” and was in “contact with the family” of the victim.

Qatar has a compensation mechanism for work accidents and unpaid wages, which has transferred more than $350 million so far, according to authorities.

Workers on the construction of the Lusail stadium in Doha (Reuters / file)
Workers on the construction of the Lusail stadium in Doha (Reuters / file)

Since it was chosen to host the 2022 World Cup in December 2010, the small Gulf emirate has been criticized for the working and living conditions of its hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from Asia and Africa.

Doha responds that it undertook unprecedented reforms in the labor code, applauded by trade union organizations, which nevertheless call for a more rigorous application.

The total number of deaths in work accidents during the preparations for the World Cup varies according to sources. Qatar says 414 people died between 2014 and 2020. NGOs point to several thousand since 2010.

(With information from AFP)

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