More Deaths in Doha

Why are so many people dying in the World Cup 2022 construction site?

British man died while working on a stadium which will be used for the 2022 World Cup, organisers said.

The unnamed 40-year-old man was working at Khalifa International Stadium, which is due to stage games up to the quarter-final stage in 2022.

The worker fell when a catwalk collapsed at the stadium while he was  fixing lighting and sound equipment.

Despite wearing a safety harness, the man was killed when it was cut during the platform collapse, construction firm Midmac-Six Construct said.

Most Historic Stadium

A statement from Qatar confirmed that ‘The relevant authorities have been notified and the next of kin has been informed. An immediate investigation into the cause of this fatality is under way and further details will be released in due course. The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy shares our deepest condolences with the family for their loss.’

The Khalifa Stadium is due for competition at the beginning of this year, according to Qatari organisers.

The project to renovate the stadium, which is described by organizers as ‘Qatar’s most historic stadium,’ is being supervised by Belgian company Besix in partnership with local company Midmac Contracting.

Controversy

FIFA, which awarded the World Cup to Qatar in a 2010 vote, said it ‘deeply regrets the loss of life’ at the stadium.

Khalifa, which will also host the World Athletics Championships in 2019, was the centre of human rights abuse allegation by Amnesty International last year, amid claims of some cases of forced labour.

The 2022 World Cup has been mired in controversy since it was awarded to Qatar in 2010 by FIFA.

Allegations of corruption and bribery are being investigated by Swiss prosecutors regarding the selection process. Appalling human rights abuses involving the use of ‘slave labour’ from countries such as India and Nepal have also been reported.

The focus of the scrutiny has been on Qatar’s use of a low-paid, migrant workforce to build the sites for the first World Cup in the Middle East, but the organisers are also relying on expertise from Europeans to oversee projects.

Organisers have previously rejected claims that as many as 7,000 workers will die during the construction of the venues and associated infrastructure.

The International Trades Union Conference made the claim in 2015. ‘The International Trade Union Confederation’s claim… represents a deliberate distortion of the facts,’ the government said in response.

Qatar has previously announced the death of four stadium workers, with one fatality the result of a work-related accident.

Jaleshwar Prasad, 48, died of a cardiac arrest after falling ill at the Al Bayt stadium.

The tournament has also been moved to November and December to avoid the scorching 40C conditions of the summer months.

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