Zurich (AFP) – Global football’s governing body FIFA on Thursday kicked off a crunch meeting amid claims of rights abuses by 2022 World Cup Qatar and wrangling over plans to hold the tournament in the winter.
FIFA’s executive committee had already been scheduled to grapple with the issue of whether to shift the World Cup from its traditional June and July slot in order to escape the stifling Gulf heat, a plan which has angered European leagues that fear mid-season havoc.
But the pressure rose to fever pitch ahead of the two-day meeting behind closed doors at FIFA’s Swiss base, after new charges of slavery-style treatment of migrant labourers working on Qatar’s massive infrastructure projects for the 2022 tournament.
Four dozen Swiss and international trade union activists rallied at FIFA’s gates in a leafy suburb overlooking Zurich.
They hammered home their message by brandishing referee-style red cards, chanting “Red Card for FIFA” and “No World Cup in Qatar without workers’ rights”.
Source: Stéphanie PERTUISET, AFP