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Dhaka Tribune

Qatar official: 400-500 migrant workers died on World Cup projects

Amnesty International alleged that more than 15,000 people had died during the construction of stadiums

Update : 30 Nov 2022, 06:01 PM

A top official linked to Qatar's World Cup organization has said the number of migrant workers who have died on World Cup-related projects is "between 400 and 500," The Guardian reported.

In an interview with Piers Morgan, which aired on TalkTV on Monday, Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, made the admission.

"Between 400 and 500. I don't have the precise number, that is something that is being discussed," Thawadi said in the interview.

"One death is too many, it's as simple as that. [But] every year the health and safety standards on the sites are improving, at least on our sites, the World Cup sites, the ones we are responsible for. Most definitely to the extent that you have trade unions [commending] the work that has been done on World Cup sites and the improvement," he said.

More than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the FIFA World Cup ten years ago, and at least 1,018 among them are Bangladeshis, says a report by British daily The Guardian published in 2021. 

Ever since Qatar was selected to host the 2022 World Cup in 2010, the attention of the international community has been focused on the country's treatment of workers. Amnesty International alleged that more than 15,000 people had died during the construction of stadiums, while the British newspaper Guardian put the number at 6,500. 

FIFA President Gianni Infantino recently chastised European countries for criticizing Qatar's human rights record, calling it "a double standard," and defending the host nation's last-minute decision to ban alcoholic beverages from stadiums. 

Defending the country's immigration policy, Infantino complimented the administration for bringing in migrants to work.

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