Infantino on Qatar: Migrant workers get pride from hard work

FIFA President Gianni Infantino mentioned migrant employees acquire satisfaction from exhausting work when he was questioned on Monday about employees struggling in Qatar whereas constructing World Cup infrastructure.

Despite the abuses, Infantino claimed employees would really feel proud at being given the possibility to assemble stadiums for this yr’s event within the Gulf nation, incomes a residing slightly than being given charity.

The feedback got here after Infantino was requested on the world convention of the Milken Institute in Los Angeles if FIFA would use its earnings to make “any sort of commitment” to assist households of employees who died in Qatar.

Infantino didn’t instantly deal with that time when responding to MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle on stage, as an alternative pointing to the introduction of a minimal wage and enhanced labor rights.

“Let’s not forget one thing … when we speak about this topic, which is work, even hard work, tough work,” Infantino mentioned. “America is a country of immigration. My parents emigrated as well from Italy to Switzerland. Not so far, but still.

“When you give work to somebody, even in hard conditions, you give him dignity and pride. It’s not charity. You don’t make charity. You don’t give something to somebody and say, ‘Stay where you are. I give you something and I feel good.’”

Ruhle interjected: “But to build the stadium where the World Cup is to be played.”

Infantino responded: “Exactly. It’s also a matter of pride and to have been able to change the conditions for these 1.5 million people, this is something that makes us as well proud.”

Infantino didn’t instantly dispute the declare put to him by Ruhle — denied by Qatar after being reported by The Guardian — that 6,500 employees have died constructing infrastructure to stage the Middle East’s first World Cup in November. Infantino mentioned solely three folks have died on the development websites of the stadiums, that are funded by Qatar’s huge oil and pure gasoline wealth.

“Now 6,000 might have died in other works and so on,” Infantino mentioned, “and of course FIFA is not the police of the world or responsible for everything that happens around the world. But thanks to FIFA, thanks to football we have been able to address the status of all the 1.5 million workers, working in Qatar.”

Construction employees, largely males from southern Asia nations, reside with a number of folks in the identical bedrooms in Qatar, whereas their households stay of their residence international locations.

Infantino acknowledged {that a} type of “modern slavery system” existed earlier than Qatar began to dismantle its long-criticized “kafala” employment system in 2018. Migrant employees ought to now be capable to change jobs earlier than the top of their contracts with out acquiring the permission of their present employers.

The World Cup has contributed to “positive social change,” based on Infantino, who accepted: “These controversies have actually overshadowed the preparation.”

Infantino sparked criticism in January over comments about migrants when he linked plans to double the frequency of World Cups to every two years to giving more hope to Africans who risk their lives crossing the sea to Europe.


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