'Strip Qatar of World Cup'

MASVINGO - The world’s biggest labour union, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), has lobbied football governing body Fifa to strip Qatar of the right to host the 2022 World Cup for allegedly violating workers’ rights.

Qatar, a Muslim-majority country with Islam as the state religion, allegedly prohibits workers from joining trade unions.

The international labour institute has since launched a campaign dubbed “No World Cup without workers’ rights.”

ITUC accuses the Qatari government of banning trade unionism in the country, especially for migrant workers who are employed in the construction of stadiums to be used for the 2022 World Cup.

Speaking during the launch of the campaign recently, ITUC secretary-general Sharan Burrow said despite knowing that Qatar does not meet international labour standards, Fifa has seen it fit to award them the 2022 World Cup.

“That is why the International Union movement is supporting a global campaign to tell Qatar: do the right thing. We are asking people to help us send a message to Qatar that there will be no World Cup in 2022 without workers’ rights,” Burrow said.

The ITUC say about 92 percent of the workforce in Qatar are migrant workers and the country is building a hugely wealthy nation on 21st century model of slavery.

The workforce is largely made up of desperate workers from Nepal, India, the Philippines and other nations.

The migrant workers are conned into paying illegal fees for the right to work in Qatar upon arrival and their passports confiscated.

ITUC has since established that the Arabic nation has appalling working conditions.

“The working conditions are oppressive and unsafe, pitiful wages are often withheld; living arrangements are inhuman and their freedom is curtailed and the ITUC cannot and will not accept this. If there is no freedom of association, no unions with collective bargaining rights, there will be no World Cup in Qatar,” she added.

The Brussels-based labour movement also claims that over $125 billion is being spent now to build the World Cup infrastructure, where workers are injured nearly everyday.

The international labour movement says it will lobby affiliate countries to stop their national football teams from travelling to Qatar if the situation fails to improve.

Last year, Fifa president Sepp Blatter also made the startling disclosure that he could not rule out a rerun of the voting for the right to host the 2022 World Cup finals which was controversially won by the tiny Arab emirate of Qatar in December 2010.

Fifa admitted internal inquiry into claims of corruption over 2022 may force a re-vote. - Godfrey Mtimba

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