Unacceptable working conditions in Qatar, says Blatter
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has conceded that some of the working conditions in Qatar are "unacceptable" but insists that the 2022 World Cup hosts are taking the matter "very seriously".
Amnesty International published a report last week detailing several instances of "human rights abuses" on construction sites in the Arabian state, claiming that some employees were being "treated like cattle".
Consequently, Blatter made it his business to attend a meeting between the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Confederation of German Trade Unions, which was mediated the president of the German Football Federation (DFB) Wolfgang Niersbach and centred on addressing the working conditions in Qatar.
"Economic and political leaders must contribute to improving the unacceptable situation in Qatar," the Fifa supremo said in a statement.
"That is why I welcome the initiative shown by the DFB and ITUC because together we can achieve change.
"I am convinced that Qatar is taking the situation very seriously. These very discussions about Qatar show just what an important role football can play in generating publicity and thus bringing about change."
ITUC chairman Michael Sommer welcomed Blatter's support but argued that Fifa must take the World Cup away from Qatar if the current situation is not satisfactorily resolved.
"We are very pleased that FIFA and the DFB have joined us in our mission to establish humane working conditions in the host country of Qatar," he stated.
"Qatar must guarantee the ILO's (International Labour Organisation) core labour standards and thus eliminate discrimination and forced labour as well as allow freedom of association for its 1.3 million migrant workers.
"If Qatar does not respond properly, the World Cup should be taken from them."