Over 175,000 people have applied for volunteer work for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The highest number of applications for seeking volunteer work during FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has come from Indians. About 25,000 out of the over 175,000 applications for volunteer registrations for the football tournament have been from Indian nationals, according to AFP.
Applicants from the Gulf countries that quashed diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar last year numbered around 1,000, the report added.
Most Indian applicants fell in the 18-25 years age bracket, the Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the entity established to monitor the infrastructure projects for the event, had said earlier.
Figures from the Supreme Committee show that 176,788 people have so far applied to give their assistance at the World Cup. Out of the total number of applicants, about 16,000 volunteers will be appointed in 2022. Their services will be used in various functions of the sports event, such as communications, medical services, audience management and hospitality, the news agency added.
It is the first time that the FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in an Arab country.
The application procedure was opened on Sept.2 this year, and over 140,000 applicants were received within the first week itself.
The applicants were “confirmed” nationals, and the figures were not merely cited on the basis of their residence in some country, a spokesperson of the Committee told the news agency.
“More than 7,200 Qatari nationals were among those to put their names forward to volunteer, while over 10,000 Omanis and 9,800 Jordanians also applied. There has also been 12,000 Egyptians, 10,500 Moroccans and 8,000 Algerians, making up the highest represented North African nations,” the Committee said in a statement on Sept.9.
As many as 83 percent of all applications are from men, the report added.
Applicants from the Gulf nations comprised 597 Saudi Arabians, 380 persons from Bahrain and 46 from the United Arab Emirates. These countries are among the nations who severed ties with Qatar in 2017 over its ties with Iran and alleged support to terrorism. Analysts said that the rift was also driven by the Iran- Saudi Arabia rivalry. Qatar, however, has denied these allegations.
Qatar, which has been criticized for unsatisfactory human rights conditions in the country, is trying to send a positive message across the world, keeping the upcoming international sports event in sight.
Earlier this month, Qatar amended its residency law to allow migrant workers to leave the country without an exit visa, bringing relief to workers from countries like India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
Its strict policies enforced on migrant workers have been attracting widespread criticism from human rights groups, who have been calling for it to be abolished. It was also reported earlier this year that Qatar may increase the minimum wages for immigrant workers by the end of 2018. It had also said that the recruitment fee of bringing in 30,000 migrant workers for the construction of the FIFA World Cup facilities would be reimbursed.