A court has rejected a lawsuit against FIFA brought by labour unions which said it had failed to use its influence to ensure fair treatment for people working on 2022 World Cup facilities in Qatar, the world soccer body said yesterday.
FIFA said in a statement it welcomed the decision by the Commercial Court of Zurich in the case which concerned its “alleged wrongful conduct and liability for human rights violations.”
The court could not immediately be reached for comment and FIFA did not give further details on the case itself.
The suit was filed by Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress, backed by the Dutch union FNV, on behalf of a Bangladeshi man who says he was exploited in Qatar.
It called on FIFA to force Qatar to adopt “minimum labour standards” for migrant workers preparing for the tournament, including at least the right to quit a job or leave the country.
FIFA takes the issue of working conditions and human rights in connection with the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar very seriously, FIFA said in a statement posted on its website.
It added that FIFA monitors the situation very closely and, as recently stated by its president Infantino, will continue to urge the Qatari authorities to ensure safe and decent working conditions for construction workers.
In recent years, a series of processes has been developed to identify and address human rights risks linked to the 2022 event.
These include the Workers’ Welfare Standards (in place since 2014 and contractually binding for all contractors and sub-contractors working on World Cup construction sites), a compliance check for all tenderers, regular reporting that is publicly available, and a four-tier system of auditing for working conditions, including by an independent specialised agency.
In addition, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) — the global trade union for construction workers — recently signed an agreement with Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy that will see them conduct joint labour and accommodation inspections on World Cup stadiums.
Doha has previously denied exploiting workers and says it is implementing labour reforms.
The Qatar government passed a new law last month and said the reforms would make it easier for migrant workers to change jobs and leave the country.