Posts Tagged ‘Qatar’

No surprise – FIFA whitewashes itself and Qatar but their investigator dissents

November 13, 2014

UPDATE!!

It seems FIFA’s conclusions are not even shared by their own investigaor:

BBC: The findings of Fifa’s inquiry into allegations of corruption during bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups have been questioned – by the man who conducted the two-year investigation into the claims.

In an unexpected twist, lawyer Michael Garcia says the report “contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions”.


 

(more…)

It is time to take the 2022 World Cup away from Qatar

June 1, 2014

If FIFA is to retain any semblance of credibility they need to re-run the selection process for the 2022 World Cup. This time without Qatar participating.  That won’t stop the corruption of course but at least it could clean out the stable before it is despoiled again.

The latest revelations in the Sunday Times (paywalled but reported by the BBC) merely confirm that Qatar did buy selection.

BBC:

Fifa is facing fresh allegations of corruption over its controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

The Sunday Times  has obtained millions of secret documents – emails, letters and bank transfers – which it alleges are proof that the disgraced Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totalling $5m to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid.

…….. the Sunday Times alleges Bin Hammam’s strategy was to win a groundswell of support for the Qatari bid which would then influence the four African Fifa executive committee members who were able to take part in the election.

The Sunday Times also alleges that it has documents which prove Bin Hammam paid 305,000 Euros (£250,000) to cover the legal expenses of another former Fifa executive committee member from Oceania, Reynald Temarii.

Temarii, from Tahiti, was unable to vote in the contest as he had already been suspended by Fifa after he was caught out by a Sunday Times sting asking bogus American bid officials for money in return for his support.

But the paper now alleges that Bin Hammam provided him with financial assistance to allow him to appeal against the Fifa suspension, delaying his removal from the executive committee and blocking his deputy David Chung from voting in the 2022 election.

The paper claims that had Chung been allowed to vote he would have supported Qatar’s rivals Australia. Instead there was no representative from Oceania allowed to vote, a decision which may have influenced the outcome in Qatar’s favour. The paper also makes fresh allegations about the relationship between Bin Hammam and his disgraced Fifa ally Jack Warner, from Trinidad. ….. 

That Qatar bought its selection was already known.

But what now becomes obvious is that many of the FIFA officials currently in power and including Sepp Blatter have known about this for some time. Some of them were probably involved themselves.

A Qatar World Cup will probably break all records in the number of deaths per goals scored. The competition will probably have to be shifted to the winter.

It is time for FIFA and Sepp Blatter to bite the bullet and take the 2022 World Cup away from Qatar. Blatter will probably try to pin the blame for Qatar on Michel Platini.

It would be best if neither Platini or Blatter stood for the FIFA Presidency next year.

“Dirty” FIFA and Qatar World Cup confirmed

March 18, 2014

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will already achieve the dubious distinction of causing more deaths than they will score goals perhaps 6 deaths per goal.

It has long been assumed that FIFA’s decision to award the World Cup to Qatar was bought – not least because of FIFA’s long, institutionalised tradition of representatives accepting bribes and the poorly kept “secret” that any country wanting to host the World Cup must reserve bribe money in its budget – by whatever name is most appropriate.

Now the Telegraph reveals that millions changed hands just after Qatar was awarded the Championship:

A senior Fifa official and his family were paid almost $2 million (£1.2m) from a Qatari firm linked to the country’s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup, The Telegraph can disclose.

Jack Warner, the former vice-president of Fifa, appears to have been personally paid $1.2 million (£720,000) from a company controlled by a former Qatari football official shortly after the decision to award the country the tournament.

Payments totalling almost $750,000 (£450,000) were made to Mr Warner’s sons, documents show. A further $400,000 (£240,000) was paid to one of his employees.

It is understood that the FBI is now investigating Trinidad-based Mr Warner and his alleged links to the Qatari bid, and that the former Fifa official’s eldest son, who lives in Miami, has been helping the inquiry as a co-operating witness.

The awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was one of the most controversial decisions in sporting history. The intense summer heat in the desert nation has raised the prospect of the tournament being moved to the winter for the first time.

from pambazuka.org

FIFA/Qatar on track to achieve 6 deaths per goal for 2022 World Cup

January 25, 2014

Just a few days ago we had the report about atrocities by the Assad regime in Syria commisioned by the Government of Qatar which supports some of the rebel groups in Syria. The report was released on the eve of the Geneva II peace talks.

But at home the Qatar government is cracking the whip to get construction completed for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and in the process has been complicit in the death of at least 193 Nepalese construction workers just during 2013. FIFA makes the appropriate noises but effectively turns a blind eye. They have too much money at stake. In October last year I posted

Based on the track record of World Cup Tournaments, the Qatar 2022 championship will see between 100 and 180 goals – most likely around 150.

But this number will be easily exceeded by the number of construction workers who have been killed by then. Already over 70 Nepalese workers have died since 2012 and the total number is probably around 200. By 2022 this number will exceed 1000.

Perhaps FIFA could introduce a safety performance index for the Qatar World Cup? Maybe to have less than 6 deaths per goal?

The Government of Qatar does not fill me with any sense of operating in good faith and certainly not with any confidence – either for peace in the Middle East or for the 2022 World Cup. They don’t really care how many second-class, immigrant workers lose their lives in any case. But FIFA has no excuse. They are going to easily achieve about 6 deaths/goal for the 2022 World Cup. FIFA is already in the dock for some of the condition of construction workers in Brazil  for the 2014 championship, but they should break all records in Qatar. There are 8 years to go and the risk is that by then deaths will exceed 10 per goal for the Qatar championship. Both FIFA and Qatar have blood on their hands.

The Guardian:

The extent of the risks faced by migrant construction workers building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been laid bare by official documents revealing that 185 Nepalese men died last year alone.

The 2013 death toll, which is expected to rise as new cases come to light, is likely to spark fresh concern over the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar and increase the pressure on Fifa to force meaningful change. According to the documents the total number of verified deaths among workers from Nepal – just one of several countries that supply hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to the gas-rich state – is now at least 382 in two years alone. At least 36 of those deaths were registered in the weeks following the global outcry after the Guardian’s original revelations in September. …

… The revelations forced Fifa’s president, Sepp Blatter, to promise that football would not turn a blind eye to the issue following a stormy executive committee meeting. …… 

The Pravasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee (PNCC), which has cross-checked the figures from official sources in Doha against death certificates and passports, is still receiving new cases on a regular basis. The Guardian has seen evidence of at least a further eight cases, which would take the 2013 total to 193.

The PNCC called on Fifa’s sponsors to reconsider their relationship with world football’s governing body, which awarded the World Cup to Qatar in December 2010. “Fifa and the government of Qatar promised the world that they would take action to ensure the safety of workers building the stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup. This horrendous roll call of the dead gives the lie to those reassurances,” said the PNCC. ….. 

Qatar 2022 will achieve more deaths than goals

October 2, 2013

Based on the track record of World Cup Tournaments, the Qatar 2022 championship will see between 100 and 180 goals – most likely around 150.

But this number will be easily exceeded by the number of construction workers who have been killed by then. Already over 70 Nepalese workers have died since 2012 and the total number is probably around 200. By 2022 this number will exceed 1000.

Perhaps FIFA could introduce a safety performance index for the Qatar World Cup? Maybe to have less than 6 deaths per goal?

The Guardian:

Seventy Nepalese builders working in Qatar in the runup to the 2022 football World Cup have died on construction sites since the start of 2012.

Fifteen have died this year, according to a death toll announced by Nepal government representatives in Doha. It is the clearest official data yet on the dangers facing 1.2 million migrant workers in the Gulf kingdom during the $100bn (£62bn)construction drive before the World Cup and came as David Cameron called on Qatar’s leadership to take action. He said zero deaths on the London 2012 Olypmics project showed Doha “it can be done”.

Nepalese trade unions said many of the fatalities were caused by workers without proper safety equipment toppling from the upper floors of buildings. …..

There are 340,000 Nepali workers in Qatar and if the mortality rate was extrapolated across all migrant workers it would suggest that more than 200 foreign workers could have died on Qatari building sites since the start of 2012.

“This reminds us of the industrial revolution 150 years ago,” said Sharan Burrow, secretary general of the International Trade Union Confederation. “Young healthy men are being worked to death in Qatar. Scores are dying from heat exhaustion and dehydration after 12-hour shifts in blazing heat, often during the night in the squalid and cramped labour camps with no ventilation and appalling hygiene.”

Last week the Guardian reported that documents showed 44 Nepalese workers died in Qatar between 4 June and 8 August this year, and that more than half died of heart attacks, heart failure or workplace accidents. It said evidence of exploitation and abuses pointed to “modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organisation”.

Of course the Qatari government claims that all these numbers are exaggerated, but the reality is that the lives and working conditions of their “guest workers” is of little interest for the Qataris. Foreign workers are expendable and the supply of such workers is endless. In this they are happily supported by the manpower agencies – in Qatar and abroad – whose revenue depends upon the turnover of bodies. Perversely the death of a worker only leads to additional revenue for the agencies who find his replacement. From what I have heard from one such manpower agenciy in India, they get paid for fulfilling their quota of workers to the main contractor of the construction project. They merely deliver bodies to Qatar and the construction site. They only perform a cursory check on the suitability or the abilities of the workers. Two arms and two legs generally seems to enough.

These agencies then pay a cut of their fee to a Qatari owned agency in Qatar and that cut includes the amounts which are passed up the Qatari chain. The construction company in its turn pays an agreed amount for having obtained the contract to the same Qatari chain of beneficiaries – often through the same Qatari agency. The modes of doing business in Qatar are no great secret.

And FIFA buries its head in the sands.

FIFA promoting and condoning slave labour

September 27, 2013

FIFA are “going to investigate”.

It would seem a little too little and much too late.

Brazil is resorting to extraordinary means to get ready for the World Cup next year.

BBC: 

Construction workers employed on a project in Brazil ahead of next year’s World Cup face “slave-like” conditions, officials say.An investigation into the expansion of Sao Paulo international airport found that 111 workers were living in poor accommodation near the building site.

They were approached in poorer states and some had to pay more than $220 (£140) to secure a job, the Labour attorney general’s office says. The promised wages were $625 a month.

The workers, among them six ethnic Pankaruru indians, were reportedly lured in the country’s north-east with promises of work in Sao Paulo. However, many were not immediately employed and had to stay in one of 11 makeshift camps near the airport which is being expanded in preparation for next year’s World Cup. The Labour attorney general’s office says it found the workers living in “conditions analogue to slaves” and has 30 days to present legal action against the contractors.

According to Brazilian legislation, companies must contract migrant workers in their hometown before transferring them to other cities. 

Similar investigations were under way in other World Cup-related building sites, attorney Cristiane Nogueira, from the Labour attorney general’s office in Sao Paulo, told Brazilian newspaper Folha de S Paulo.

But it would seem to be even worse in Qatar for their World Cup in 2022 – undeserved and where the voting was clearly bought. FIFA have been falling over themselves to ensure their share of Qatar money and where they – for the first time ever and in conflict with most football seasons – are going to hold the World Cup in winter. Here at least 44 Nepalese construction workers have died in just 3 months and the World Cup is still 9 years away. At the rate they are going thousands could die before the World Cup is held.

The Guardian: 

Dozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died in Qatar in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses, a Guardian investigation has found, raising serious questions about Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup.

This summer, Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day in Qatar, many of them young men who had sudden heart attacks. The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of labourers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organisation, during a building binge paving the way for 2022.

According to documents obtained from the Nepalese embassy in Doha, at least 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August. More than half died of heart attacks, heart failure or workplace accidents.

The investigation also reveals:

 Evidence of forced labour on a huge World Cup infrastructure project.

• Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.

• Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.

• Some labourers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.

• About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal conditions of their employment.

The allegations suggest a chain of exploitation leading from poor Nepalese villages to Qatari leaders. The overall picture is of one of the richest nations exploiting one of the poorest to get ready for the world’s most popular sporting tournament.

“We’d like to leave, but the company won’t let us,” said one Nepalese migrant employed at Lusail City development, a $45bn (£28bn) city being built from scratch which will include the 90,000-seater stadium that will host the World Cup final. “I’m angry about how this company is treating us, but we’re helpless. I regret coming here, but what to do? We were compelled to come just to make a living, but we’ve had no luck.” 

Of course FIFA is shocked and distressed and will investigate! Not as distressed as the workers are in Qatar or as distressed as the families of the dead.

The Telegraph: 

Britain’s most senior Fifa member said he was “appalled and distressed” by allegations made in an expose of construction practises in the Gulf State as it readies its infrastructure to stage the 2022 tournament.

Boyce told the Telegraph Sport: “Fifa must fully investigate all the facts contained in the article and hopefully report back to the executive committee.”

The Northern Irishman also insisted the matter would be discussed at next week’s Fifa executive committee meeting.

That meeting had initially been expected to confirm that the tournament would move from the summer but is now in danger of being hijacked by a “slavery” scandal. …

 

COP18 in Doha and “hot air”

November 25, 2012

There can be few things more wasteful than this. And all  for a hypothesis which cannot be proven and is increasingly looking like “hot air”. 

The annual climate jamboree  is about to start for 17,000 participants!!!!!

This from the BBC

  • Doha climate talks: Will ‘hot air’ derail the process?
  • More than 17,000 participants are expected in the Qatari capital Doha for the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • Qatar, rich in oil and particularly gas, has some of the highest per-capita carbon emissions in the world.
  • One of the concerns is over “hot air” – several EU countries were given huge allowances of carbon permits that they want to carry over into a new commitment period. But the scale of the surplus, some 13 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, could render future promises to cut carbon effectively meaningless. (Note that cutting Carbon itself is pretty meaningless)

Will SAS be acquired by Qatar or Lufthansa?

January 11, 2012

SAS – which used to be one of my favourite airlines – needs new owners with access to larger markets and with financial muscle.

Lufthansa was – and still is – the most likely buyer. But in the last 2 days the rumors of interest from Qatar have been driving up the SAS share price. Of course the rumors have been denied.

But  SAS is unsustainable as it is and  something is due to happen with SAS ownership this year. And my guess would be that the clear fit and benefits would point to Lufthansa rather than Quatar.

Proof positive of FIFA bribery & corruption: Qatar to host World Cup

December 4, 2010

Can there be any other reason than B & C for Qatar to get the World Cup???

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/9250612.stm


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