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FIFA open to compensation fund for World Cup workers

FIFA said Thursday it was exploring setting up a compensation fund for migrant workers injured while working on World Cup projects in Qatar.

“It’s important to try to see that anyone who suffered injury as a consequence of working in the World Cup, that that is somehow redressed,” FIFA deputy general secretary Alasdair Bell told a Council of Europe session on labour rights in Qatar.

“It’s not the simplest thing to put into place, it requires thought. It requires structure, rules and governance, and so on. This is certainly something that we’re interested in progressing.”

The idea of a compensation fund for workers has been suggested by several human rights organisations, which have called on World Cup sponsors to support the initiative.

The tiny state with conservative Muslim leaders has been in the rights spotlight ever since it was awarded the World Cup in 2010.

Amnesty earlier this year demanded that world football’s governing body FIFA set up a $440 million fund for “abused” workers in Qatar.

The Arab state has faced accusations of under-reporting deaths and injuries among workers as well as complaints of unpaid wages. 

Critics say Qatar’s progress over the last decade has been mixed and that more pressure must be applied on the country and FIFA before the first ball is kicked in the 32-nation tournament on November 20.

Qatar refutes the number of deaths of migrant workers reported by some international media and says it has introduced a series of reforms to its employment regulations since being selected to host the World Cup.

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