International unions call on FIFA to rerun the vote for the Qatar 2022 World Cup

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has written to FIFA calling on the international football federation to rerun the vote for the 2022 World Cup and establish workers rights as a criteria for any future bid.

The move comes after a series of broken promises and no sign of any change from FIFA or the Qatari Government to address the fact that hundreds of workers are dying and thousands more are injured in Qatar.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said more than a million migrant workers faced continued exploitation, poverty wages and denial of the most basic rights.

“This is not a move we take lightly. The 2022 World Cup was awarded years ahead of schedule, if a new venue is selected in the next two years there is still time for the infrastructure to be in place in time for the games. FIFA must act now- the longer the delay, the more workers will suffer and die.

“FIFA and Qatar have spoken frequently about need for reform, but the record is rife with broken promises. The Qataris have pledged to ensure that international labour standards are met, while construction workers die at a rate eight times that of other rich countries,” said Ms Burrow.

A leaked copy of a ‘Workers Charter’ written by the local organizing committee for the games obtained by Equal Times shows contradictions with Qatari law and fails to give workers any real rights or protection from slavery conditions.

The 2022 World Cup has been plagued with controversy since it was awarded to Qatar in December 2010.

“Allegations of corruption and vote-buying among FIFA executives, extreme heat endangering athletes and migrant workers receiving poverty pay and even fewer legal protections are enough reasons for FIFA to reopen the voting process,” said Sharan Burrow.

The ITUC Equal Times campaign is asking union members and football fans to pressure FIFA to change the venue for the 2022 World Cup unless workers rights are respected.

Qatar could maintain its candidacy for the 2022 event, but should only win confirmation of its bid if it truly meets global labour standards and stops treating the people building the World Cup facilities as slaves.

The global campaign is in 11 languages – Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Campaign materials can be downloaded from A campaign pack is available for ITUC affiliates by contacting [email protected].