Qatar probing death of a worker at World Cup training site, says official

DOHA, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Qatari officials said on Thursday they had launched an occupational safety investigation into the deaths of Qatari workers after reports of the death of a Filipino man training for the World Cup. of migrant workers.

Nasser Al Khater, chief executive of the Doha 2022 World Cup, confirmed the worker’s death to Reuters without providing details, saying “death is a part of life” as he offered his condolences to the family.

A Filipino man contracted to repair the parking lot lights at the Sealine Resort, where the Saudi Arabian national team trains, died after sliding down a ramp and falling on his head while walking alongside a vehicle, online sports publication The Athletic reported. against concrete”.

Citing multiple anonymous sources, the accident happened during the World Cup, but did not specify when.

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The resort did not immediately respond to inquiries from Reuters.

“If the investigation concludes that security protocols were not followed, the company will face legal action and severe financial penalties,” another Qatari government official told Reuters when contacted.

“Since Qatar introduced stricter health and safety standards and stepped up enforcement, the number of work-related accidents has been steadily decreasing,” the official said.

Qatar has come under the scrutiny of human rights groups since winning the World Cup in 2010 over its treatment of migrant workers, who make up the majority of the Gulf Arab nation’s population.

Soccer Football – Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Preview Doha, Qatar – November 18, 2022 The FIFA World Cup logo is seen on the Corniche promenade ahead of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

The tournament, which is being held for the first time in the Middle East and has been criticized by other countries over the rights of migrant workers, has drawn criticism from some football stars and European officials over Qatar’s human rights record, including employment, LGBT+ and women’s rights. led to controversy. rights.

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Qatar’s World Cup organizers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said in a statement that they were not involved in Qatar’s investigation because “the deceased (in any case) was working as a contractor and not under the jurisdiction of the SC.”

The number of work-related deaths in Qatar is disputed.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper said at least 6,500 migrant workers have died since Qatar won the World Cup bid last year, according to official records.

In response, Qatar said the death toll was proportional to the size of the migrant workforce, including many non-manual workers, adding that every loss was tragic. Three work-related deaths and 37 work-related deaths have occurred on FIFA World Cup-related projects, the SC said.

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“Death is a part of life, whether it’s at work or when you’re sleeping,” Hater said, expressing frustration when asked by reporters about The Athletic.

“We’re in the middle of the World Cup. And we’ve had a successful World Cup. Do you want to talk about that right now?” he said.

(This story has been edited to correct a typo in paragraphs 8 and 9.)

Reporting and writing by Andrew Mills; Edited by Gaida Gantus and William McLean

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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