An ice-cold response from the World Cup boss to the death of a guest worker

Qatar World Cup CEO Nasser Al Khater is puzzled by reporters’ questions about the migrant worker’s death. Fifa confirms the death, but does not comment on it.

The CEO of the Games, Nasser Al Khater (center), is not willing to talk about the deaths of the workers. PDO

  • Fifa says it will comment further when “the processes have been completed”.
  • Nasser Al Khater wonders about the journalists’ questions regarding the deaths.
  • Estimates of the number of migrant workers’ deaths range from hundreds to even thousands.

On Thursday, Fifa has confirmed the death of one guest worker at a Qatari accommodation center. The Athletic previously reported that a migrant worker died accidentally at the Sealine Beach luxury resort on the shores of the Persian Gulf, where the Saudi Arabian national team stayed during the group stage of the World Cup.

– Fifa is deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the employee’s family, commented a Fifa spokesperson for CNN.

According to The Athletic, the dead man is a Filipino in his 40s. The man was doing repair work when he fell off the truck and hit the asphalt headfirst. A helicopter was flown to the scene for hospital transport, but nothing could be done to save the man.

The events were confirmed to The Athletic from multiple sources, but officials initially did not release the news.

– Fifa will be able to comment more when the processes related to the loss of the employee have been completed, Fifa’s spokesperson says now.

The story continues after the picture.

Al Khater marvels at the journalists’ interest in the deaths of workers. PDO

Race boss: “Death is part of life”

The Qatar Games Control Committee states that the death occurred on property outside of the committee’s jurisdiction, so the matter will be referred to state authorities. The Qatari government has confirmed that its authorities are investigating the incident.

CEO of the World Cup Nasser Al Khater was not willing to comment on what happened.

– We are in the middle of the World Cup. And we have a successful World Cup. And Is this something you want to talk about right now? Al Khater was responding to a Reuters reporter’s question about the migrant worker’s death.

– Death is a natural part of life, whether it happened at work or while sleeping. Of course, the employee is dead. Our sympathies go out to his family. I still find it strange that this is something you want to focus on as your first question, Al Khater continues.

Over the years, human rights organizations have reported that the construction of the World Cup in Qatar and related deficiencies have claimed the lives of several thousand migrant workers.

In an interview with CNN, Al Khater denies the high number of worker deaths and says it is a lie.

– Deaths of workers have been a big topic during the World Cup. Everything that has been said about the deaths of the workers has been a complete lie, says Al Khater.

– We have encountered this theme, this negativity towards the World Cup. We are a little disappointed that the reporters have exaggerated this false narrative. Honestly, I think a lot of journalists need to think about why they’ve been trying to talk about this for so long.

The story continues after the picture.

A German artist dumped 6,500 footballs filled with sand in front of Fifa’s Zurich headquarters during the Games in protest – one for each of the dead workers. EPA/AOP

Differing estimates of deaths

General secretary of the organizing committee responsible for the infrastructure related to the World Cup Hassan al-Thawadi said in November Piers Morgan in the interviewthat 400–500 migrant workers have died in projects related to the World Cup.

However, the death figures presented to the public have varied depending on who reports them and where the line is drawn, which deaths are included.

The tournament organizers have announced that only three work-related deaths of migrant workers have occurred at the World Cup stadium sites. In addition, 37 other migrant workers would have died in the stadiums, but the deaths would be “other than work-related”.

The Guardian, on the other hand, published at the beginning of 2021 statementwhich said more than 6,500 workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had died in Qatar since the country was awarded the World Cup 10 years earlier.