Families say FIFA must pay compensation for migrant workers who died ahead of World Cup

Families of overseas workers who died while building stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup are demanding millions in compensation.

Human rights groups say “thousands” have lost their lives or been injured since FIFA awarded the tournament to Qatar in 2010.

They are now urging the football governing body and the Qatari government to set aside around £338m for payouts – equivalent to the prize money for the World Cup that kicks off on November 20.

The deaths include that of Bangladeshi Sujan Mullah, who died aged just 32 after spending three years on World Cup building sites.

His brother, Jamal Mollah, said: “Sujan said it was not a good condition of work – very long hours in extreme heat. We have been devastated by his death. Qatar and FIFA should compensate the families.”

Sujan Mullah, Bangldeshi migrant worker who died in Qatar

Sujan Mullah was a Bangladeshi migrant worker who died in Qatar

Charity Human Rights Watch this week teamed up with Amnesty International and FairSquare to renew calls for payouts.

Minky Worden, of HRW, said: “Not one migrant worker should die to make a World Cup possible. Yet in Qatar, thousands have.”

There are some Qatari compensation schemes. But HRW said many overseas workers are ruled ineligible.

Lusail stadium

Human rights groups say ‘thousands’ have lost their lives or been injured
AFP via Getty Images)

Ganga Sahani, 52, of Nepal, died in May. His son, Ram, told HRW the dad of four was “healthy and strong”, but the death certificate said he suffered “heart failure”.

In Qatar deaths by natural causes are not compensated.

Felix Jakens, of Amnesty International, said: “Human rights issues have plagued this World Cup. FIFA should have insisted on human rights clauses when it assessed Qatar’s bid.”

The new stadium

The new stadium in Doha
AFP via Getty Images)

Fifa said it had been told Sujan and Ganga were not involved in World Cup projects.

It added experts believe the World Cup spotlight on Qatar has “contributed signficantly” to improved labour conditions – and it will keep pushing for greater protections.

The Qatari government said thousands of foreign workers have benefitted from labour reforms.

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