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FIFA, Qatar organisers publish World Cup sustainability strategy

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Football’s ruling body FIFA and host nation Qatar on Tuesday published a sustainability strategy for the 2022 World Cup, ranging from the protection of rights of workers and the LGBT community to an environmentally friendly tournament.

The first-ever such strategy for a World Cup details various commitments on 112 pages amid ongoing human rights groups’ criticism on Qatar.

“A total of 22 objectives have been described in detail, together with more than 70 concrete initiatives and programmes to deliver the strategy,’’ FIFA and the Qatari organising committee said.

Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world but has been slammed by human rights and labour organisations over the treatment of migrant workers, who are essential for construction of World Cup stadiums and general tournament infrastructure.

Qatar has made improvements around the Kafala system tying a worker to his employer although progress has been noted by labour organisations.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International said in September that the country “remains a playground for unscrupulous employers.”

“We are committed to safeguarding the rights and welfare of workers engaged on World Cup 2022 sites and promoting their rights in projects and supply chains directly linked to the World Cup.

“Besides, we want to leave a legacy of world-class standards and practices for workers in Qatar and internationally.

FIFA prohibits discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, language, religion, opinion, wealth, birth or any other status,” the document said.

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said that “all critical topics related to the event have been identified and duly addressed in this strategy.”

She vowed that the World Cup “offers us a unique opportunity to bring about positive change, one that FIFA and Qatar cannot, and will not, let slip away.”

Edited by: Abiodun Oluleye/Ekemini Ladejobi

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