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FIFA, human rights, and politics: one step forward, two steps back

World football body FIFA’s creation of a watchdog to monitor the living and working conditions of migrant labour employed in World Cup 2022-related construction sites is the second time in a month that Qatar has been warned that it needs to demonstrate sincerity in its reform of the Gulf state’s controversial labour system. The announcement …

James Dorsey

Amnesty International criticism returns Qatar to square one

A new report from Amnesty International slams Qatar for not living up to promises to improve workers’ rights and adds to growing international criticism of Qatar’s inability to properly implement adopted policies. World Cup host Qatar and FIFA are back to square one in terms of public diplomacy, with the Amnesty International report taking the …

James Dorsey

ILO to Qatar: Put your money where your mouth is or else

The International Labour Organization has put Qatar on notice, by giving it 12 months to implement labour reforms, that it no longer can delay acting on promises made in the wake of its successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup. The ILO warning rings stark as the UAE, Qatar’s main competitor, steps up efforts …

James Dorsey

Egyptians in Qatar: where to?

There is no doubt that the conflict between Egypt and Qatar has begun moving from the political arena to other areas of conflict, and unfortunately the victims of this new conflict are Egyptian expatriates working in Qatar, especially those who have been outspoken about their support for the future roadmap since July 2013 and elected …

Abdallah Al-Moghazy

Embattled World Cup host Qatar sends mixed messages

The embattled World Cup host Qatar is sending contradictory messages as it struggles with demands to improve migrant labour conditions, answer the mounting questions about the integrity of its successful FIFA bi, confront the fall-out of dropping energy prices, and seek to project itself as both a key Western ally and a useful conduit to …

James Dorsey

Religious support for Qatari labour reforms puts Gulf states on the spot

  A panel in Doha of religious scholars, officials of Qatar’s government-sponsored human rights committee, and international labour activists has called on Qatar to radically alter its controversial labour policies. The call serves to support Qatari government promises of labour reform in response to World Cup-related international criticism, and increases moral pressures on Gulf states …

James Dorsey

Fan opposition to Qatar goes viral

By James M. Dorsey World Cup host Qatar is discovering the reputational risk involved in hosting high-profile mega sporting events. Qatar Airways’ sponsorship of FC Barcelona is producing exactly the kind of publicity that is a corporate sponsor’s worst nightmare, while a Swiss investigation of the Qatari World Cup bid threatens to expose questionable financial …

Daily News Egypt

FIFA’s Blatter unwittingly pinpoints football governance’s prime issues

By James M. Dorsey Embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter unwittingly put his finger on two fundamental issues that underlie a corruption scandal that has rocked world football governance, the worst crisis in the sport’s history: the fiction that sports and politics are separate and hypocrisy that distorts legitimate debate about Qatar’s successful but controversial World …

Daily News Egypt

Advisory Council rejects labour reform as Qatar stiffens its back

By James M. Dorsey Revived controversy over the integrity of Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup and persistent criticism of the conditions of migrant labour in the Gulf state appear to have stiffened Qatar’s back as it responds to attacks on multiple fronts, including judicial inquiries in Switzerland and the United States, …

Daily News Egypt