Gianni Infantino said working with the World Cup facilities made them proud. Amnesty International Norway’s Secretary General, John Peder Egenæs, called the statement disappointing news.
The latest statement from the FIFA president stirred fear in Egens.
– If it is realized, then there is a change in the communication strategy on his part. In this regard, this is quite disappointing news, Amnesty International’s Secretary General told VG.
On Monday evening, FIFA President Infantino was interviewed on stage during a conference hosted by the Milken Institute think tank in California, where he tried to convince the audience that the conditions for many of the migrant workers working at World Cup facilities in Qatar had improved greatly.
The chairman of the ruling International Football Association said workers felt proud and dignified at being allowed to work rather than “receiving charity”:
– This is one thing we must not forget. When you give someone a job, even under difficult conditions, you give them dignity and pride. It’s not charity. We don’t run a charity. You give nothing to anyone and say “stay where you are, you got this, and I feel good”.
– But to build an arena in which the World Cup will be played? shot interviewer Stephanie Ruhle in.
– Only. It is also about pride and opportunity to change the condition of these 1.5 million people. That makes us proud, replied Infantino.
These statements aroused Egens’ fear.
– I’m afraid there’s a deliberate change in communication from FIFA. In the past, they had to some extent accepted criticism and said that this was something they had to work on. Now it seems their attitude is enough. They had never said such a thing before, said the secretary general of VG.
The president of the Norwegian Football Association, Lise Klaveness, gave a speech with a strong critique of FIFA, which received international attention. Therefore, the latest statement by the FIFA president disappointed Klaveness.
– Now we only have the time and the means to ensure the real implementation of the necessary and lasting changes. I miss him using FIFA’s role and platform to comment on what is really urgent. For example, how work was carried out to establish a migrant worker center in Qatar and a compensation mechanism for workers who have suffered hardships, and at the very least – when and how to put in place legal security for LGBTQ+ people coming to the World Cup, Klaveness wrote to VG.
Annoying to be disturbed
In February last year, The Guardian published an investigation revealing that 6,500 foreign workers in Qatar have lost their lives since the country was awarded the 2010 World Cup. Infantino did not directly deny the figure, but claimed that only three people had lost their lives. on the World Cup construction site, arena.
– Now 6000 may have died during other jobs and so on. And of course, FIFA is not the police of the world nor is it responsible for everything that happens around the world. But thanks to FIFA and football, we were able to overcome the situation of 1.5 million guest workers in Qatar, said the Swiss man.
Criticism of FIFA and Infantino has been high since the relationship with the guest worker came to light.
– I get the impression that he thinks it’s troublesome to be bothered about this, said Egenæs.
– FIFA’s responsibility does not end when the World Cup final ends. They have a responsibility, taking care of the many families who lost their loved ones by building this stadium. We at Amnesty will focus on the fact that they have to clean up after themselves.
Those who worked on the construction of the World Cup facilities in Qatar were mostly men from South West Asia. Both Infantino and the World Cup leaders in Qatar have repeatedly shown that they are working hard to improve conditions for the visiting workers.
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