Advisor recommends FIFA to strip nations of World Cup over human rights

Advisor recommends FIFA to strip nations of World Cup over human rights
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Published April 14th, 2016 - 21:18 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Ruggie said that human rights principles must already be an important part of World Cup bids, and the issue must also be highlighted within FIFA
Ruggie said that human rights principles must already be an important part of World Cup bids, and the issue must also be highlighted within FIFA

Countries violating human rights should be stripped of football tournaments such as the World Cup, a study commissioned by the ruling body FIFA said.

The report by Harvard professor John Ruggie came in the wake of allegations of human rights violations by 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar, in connection with the rights of migrant workers over which Qatar has been heavily criticised by Amnesty International and other groups.

Ruggie, who also advises the United Nations, said that the worldwide allure and prestige of the World Cup could be a powerful tool for FIFA to insist on human rights principles at host nations, with the threat of stripping them of the event.

"Where FIFA is unable to reduce severe human rights impacts by using its leverage, it should consider suspending or terminating the relationship," the report said.

"The option of ending a relationship itself is an important source of leverage and should be clearly communicated to bidders, suppliers, licensees and other relevant entities."

Ruggie said that while "FIFA is not solely responsible for solving these problems where the actions of others are the primary cause ... it must use its influence to address these human rights risks as determinedly as it does to pursue its commercial interests."

Ruggie said that human rights principles must already be an important part of World Cup bids, and the issue must also be highlighted within FIFA.

FIFA so far only has short commitment to "all internationally recognized human rights" in its statutes.

New FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the report will "guide the way forward.

"This is an ongoing process and of course challenges remain, but FIFA is committed to playing its part in ensuring respect for human rights and to being a leader among international sports organisations in this important area," he said.

© 2016 dpa GmbH

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