Over 400 Migrant Workers Died Preparing For Qatar World Cup, Official Says
AL KHOR - (l-r) Memphis Depay of Holland, Abdelkarim Hasan Fadlalla of Qatar during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 group A match between Netherlands and Qatar at Al Bayt Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar.
ANP via Getty Images

Between 400 to 500 migrant workers died in preparation for Qatar’s World Cup, according to an official from the local organizing committee.

The new report from Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, was shared during an interview with Pier Morgan.

“What is the honest, realistic total do you think of migrant workers who died from – as a result of work they’re doing for the World Cup in totality?” Morgan asked.

“The estimate is around 400, between 400 and 500. I don’t have the exact number. That’s something that’s been discussed,” al-Thawadi told Morgan.

“One death is a death too many. Plain and simple,” he later added.

The previous report by Qatar’s government noted 40 deaths, listing only three as workplace-related and 37 from non-working health concerns, according to the Associated Press. A 2021 report by The Guardian placed the death toll much higher, claiming that more than 6,500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since 2011.

The findings included information from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, listing 5,927 deaths of migrant workers between 2011–2020. The Guardian also noted that Pakistan’s embassy in Qatar reported another 824 deaths of Pakistani workers between 2010-2020.

The report included 2,711 deaths reported from India, 1,641 from Nepal, 1,018 from Bangladesh, and 557 from Sri Lanka.

“Although each loss of life is upsetting, the mortality rate among these communities is within the expected range for the size and demographics of the population,” Qatari government officials said in a statement responding to the Guardian. “Since 2010, there has been a consistent decline in the mortality rate as a result of the health and safety reforms we have introduced. We expect this downward trend to continue in the future.”

The 2022 World Cup is the first time that the event has been held in the Middle East. Other controversies related to Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup have included a last-minute ban on beer sales, along with concerns related to LGBTQ and women’s rights.

Multiple European teams at the World Cup dropped a plan at the last minute to wear armbands supporting LGBTQ rights. In a joint statement from the Football Associations of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, the teams announced the captains would not be wearing “OneLove” armbands during the games.

The U.S. team also redesigned the crest displayed around its base for the World Cup in Qatar, replacing the traditional red, white, and blue stripes with rainbow colors. The team continued to use the traditional crest with red, white, and blue stripes on their uniforms during games.

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