David Beckham and the current England squad are under renewed pressure to condemn the exploitation of workers in Qatar after Amnesty discovered progress was stalling ahead of the World Cup.
Beckham was first asked by the campaign group to use his ‘unique global profile’ last month when it emerged he was making around £ 15million a year working with the nation.
Now, with the current England squad reserving their places at the tournament, Amnesty says it is “more important than ever” for current and past players to speak out.
The government of Qatar has passed a slew of laws since 2017 aimed at improving conditions for migrant workers, but Amnesty’s latest assessment indicates that it is not effectively implementing them.
“The exploitation of Qatar’s massive migrant labor force has already cast a shadow over next year’s World Cup, and the Football Association should use the remaining year until kick-off to make pressure for sustainable labor reforms in Qatar, “said Amnesty UK Managing Director Sacha Deshmukh. noted.
“The FA is part of the UEFA working group on workers’ rights in Qatar and can pressure the Doha authorities to strengthen protections for migrant workers, investigate worker deaths and help shape a tournament with a genuinely positive legacy. staff, players and supporters are raising human rights issues ahead of next year’s kick-off. “
Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers has been in the spotlight since the country won the right to host the 2022 final in 2010. Legislation has been passed to tackle the ‘kafala’ system, which binds women together. foreign workers to their employers, restricts their ability to change jobs and prevents many from leaving the country without their employer’s permission.
However, the recently released Qatar Reality Check 2021 report by Amnesty revealed that this was “business as usual” in many ways and that a “culture of impunity” exists for employers.
England midfielder Conor Coady said on Sunday that a conversation between the players would take place once qualification is achieved, and an FA spokesperson said that from “discussions to date we believe there is evidence of substantial progress made by Qatar on workers’ rights, but we recognize that there is still a long way to go. ” “Our view remains that change is best achieved by working collaboratively with others so that we can continue to ask the right questions, while still being aware that we have our own challenges in this country,” a statement added. .
Beckham, meanwhile, was reportedly informed that Qatar had previously recognized the need to improve labor rights and made improvements.
A spokeswoman for the former midfielder said when announcing details of his role as ambassador. “David has been traveling to Qatar regularly for over a decade and has continued to play for PSG, so he saw the passion for football in the country and the long-term commitment that has been made to host this FIFA Cup. world and leave a lasting legacy for the region. He has always spoken of the power of football as a force for good. As we reach the one year point, he joins the wider football community that comes together to World Cup 2022 and he’s looking forward to what he thinks will be a great tournament.