Compensation fund and contact point in case of problems: FIFA and Qatar promise to improve the situation of the guest workers on site. For DFB President Bernd Neuendorf, this is a “little ray of hope”.
After an hour-long meeting with FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, DFB President Bernd Neuendorf had positive news to report on Sunday. After eleven associations had requested a meeting following Gianni Infantino’s bizarre opening speech on Saturday, Neuendorf announced on Sportschau Thema that FIFA and Qatar would finally move on two major issues. “In my view, the results are a small ray of hope”.
Guest workers should be supported and compensated
FIFA had previously stated that it wanted to set up an office of the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) with the help of the Qatari government and thus create a contact point for the many international migrant workers in Doha. In addition, the so-called Legacy Fund, into which World Cup proceeds flow, is to be invested more globally and now also be used for compensation payments for injured or deceased guest workers. “This is a signal in the right direction”stressed Neuendorf.
Most recently, the establishment of the compensation fund was discussed. Since Qatar had refused to set up such a fund, criticism from human rights organizations and several football associations had become louder. There won’t be a new fund, but Neuendorf will be able to use the Legacy Fund “a positive statement”. The working group of the European Football Union UEFA for human and labor rights also described the announcements as “substantial progress”.
Criticism of the ILO
However, the involvement of the ILO, which has played a questionable role for years, still needs to be questioned. The work organization aims to protect workers worldwide from exploitation. However, since she has been working closely with Qatar since 2018 and receives 25 million dollars a year from the desert state, she has been criticized. There are even allegations that Qatar was able to influence personnel decisions at the ILO.
Neuendorf takes a close look
UEFA and DFB boss Neuendorf announced that they want to follow the implementation of the announced changes closely. “We won’t turn away when the final whistle blows”emphasized Neuendorf. “We will see exactly what happens and come back to Qatar in 2023.”