After trapping the French Footballer Belounis, is Qatar about to be shamed by FIFA to abandon the Kafala system?
Qatar has been told by the world players’ union FIFPro to abolish the kafala system for footballers and respect international standards for their contracts.
The 2022 World Cup host nation also heard that it was essential to allow the establishment of a local players’ union.
“FIFPro has the attention of Qatar’s leading football officials,” said FIFPro delegate Mads Oland after meeting Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, in Doha on Saturday.
“FIFPro, as the representative of al el professional footballers worldwide, will be heard loud and clear.”
The meeting came two days after French footballer Zahir Belounis arrived home, having allegedly been prevented from leaving the country after falling into a long-running dispute with a local club.
Belounis said he had been unable to obtain an exit visa which has to be applied for by his employers under the kafala, or sponsorship, system.
“We have a structure in place now that paves the way for FIFPro to launch several critical objectives in Qatar,” said Oland in a statement issued by FIFPro.
“Qatar heard FIFPro’s wish to abolish the kafala sponsorship system in its application to footballers. This goes to the heart of respecting their basic human rights.”
“There is a clear understanding on all sides that the level must be raised for the best of the football industry in Qatar.
“The level must be in line with FIFA standards within the Qatari professional league, including the application of minimum contract requirements and dispute resolution.”
“FIFPro made it very clear that the establishment of a free, independent FIFPro affiliate, a players’ union that puts the welfare of footballers first, is essential.”
“As of now, the players who FIFPro protect cannot be guaranteed that their rights will be respected. That has to change.”
FIFPro also discussed conditions for the migrant workers employed in the country’s construction industry following reports of ill-treatment and abuse.
“We raised the concerns about the conditions for workers building infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup and the core labour standards which Qatar needs to meet,” said Oland.
- With Sisi likely to take over, how will Egypt's 'military economy' look like?
- Will future talks between the IMF and Egypt help the country's economy?
- Is Iran's economy already thriving amidst limited sanctions relief? Apparently so!
- Invest your wealth or each person for himself? Growth and tackling inequality are the key
- Will UAE's new law really boost SME development in the emirates?
- Taking an (im)moral stance: Qatar refuses to set deadline for improving workers' conditions
- Let the games--err, the building for the games--begin! Qatar commences work on FIFA stadiums
- A tad too insincere? Qatar shamed into new labour laws
- Despite calls from Amnesty, Qatar's humiliating "Kafala" , exit permit system to stay
- Surprise, surprise: Qatar asked by Blatter to take responsibility of workers' wellbeing