Fifa urged to act on workers abuse

Jim Murphy wants the Scottish Football Association to speak out over the human rights abuses behind the 2022 World Cup

Jim Murphy wants the Scottish Football Association to speak out over the human rights abuses behind the 2022 World Cup

First published in National News © by

Football's governing body needs to act to improve the treatment of thousands of migrant workers building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, a senior Labour politician said.

Jim Murphy, the shadow international development secretary, said the "widespread" abuse of workers in Qatar was the "ugly secret of the beautiful game".

He demanded action from football's governing body Fifa, and also urged the Scottish Football Association (SFA) to speak out on the issue.

Mr Murphy, the MP for East Renfrewshire, is due to travel to Qatar to meet construction workers there next week.

Ahead of that he raised the issue at Scottish Labour's conference in Perth, telling activists there: "The treatment of these powerless migrant workers is the ugly secret of the beautiful game."

He said many of these workers "are tricked into travelling thousands of miles, many of them have their passports confiscated, many of them go without pay, live in terrible conditions, work long hours and have unimaginable debts".

The Labour MP said: "This isn't individual instances, it's widespread as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have researched and testified.

"The late and great Bill Shankly was wrong when he said, 'Some people believe football is a matter of life and death I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.' Because in Qatar today football is a matter of life and death for far too many. Hundreds have already died and thousands are in danger."

He insisted: "No-one should have to die to bring us a sporting tournament.

"So things have got to change, we can no longer tolerate this. Fifa has got to act, the SFA has got to break its silence on the abuse in Qatar because no World Cup should be built on the back of forced labour and the dead bodies of migrant workers."

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree