10November 2016: Qatari authorities have conceded that a serious “extended oversight” of health and safety procedures led to the death of a Nepalese man while working at the construction site of a 2022 World Cup stadium, ESPNFC reported today.
The oil-rich emirate is building massive sporting infrastructure amid concerning reports that it provides medieval living and work conditions to impoverished migrant workers from Third World countries like Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee confirmed that Nepalese national Anil Kumar Pasman was killed last month as he worked at the Al Wakrah Stadium.
Mr Paswan was apparently hit by a water tanker because the driver “was tragically unaware of his colleague’s close proximity”.
ESPNFC quoted Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the 2022 World Cup organising committee, as saying that there was “always more to be done” in enforcing health and safety.
According to a southasia.com.au report published last year, figures obtained from Nepal’s labour ministry indicated that the death toll of Nepalese migrant workers in Qatar increased since the tiny Arab nation won the FIFA World Cup 2022 bid in 2010.
Only 26 migrant workers had lost their lives in 2008/09 but the figure rose dramatically to 114 in 2009/10 followed by 225 in 2010/11. The highest so far was 193 in 2013/14.
Not all of these numbers were linked to the construction of the FIFA stadiums but an alarming percentage of them were. In 2014 alone, at least 109 Nepalis were confirmed dead while working on the World Cup sites. The work conditions were so dire that at least 11 Nepali migrants committed suicide in 2013/14, Nepal Government records showed.
The situation in the Gulf nation is so out of control that by the time the estimated 200,000 spectators flock to various World Cup venues in 2022, at least 4000 migrant workers (mostly from Nepal, India and Bangladesh) will attain ‘martyrdom’ in the name of the sport of football.