Some 6,500 people have died in the last ten years preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. That is what the British newspaper The Guardian writes today. They are said to be workers from Pakistan, Nepal, and India, among others.
In 2010, it was announced that Qatar would host the World Cup in 2022. Since then, the country has invested in seven new stadiums, a new airport, and several roads and hotels. Cheap labor from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka was hired for these projects.
From government documents now show that died striking number of these workers. Every week since the start of the works in Qatar in 2011, an average of about 12 people have been killed on the job. That now brings the total to 6,500 deaths.
The figure would be even higher, according to The Guardian, since it does not include workers from the Philippines, for example. Deaths from the last months of 2020 are also not included in the study.
According to the World Cup organizing committee, there are ‘only’ 37 deaths related to the construction of a World Cup stadium. Of those, even 34 would not be work-related. Experts strongly question those figures, especially since Qatar does not consider someone who collapses on a construction site to be a work-related death.
The country also remains vague about the circumstances of the death. Take 43-year-old Madhu Bollapally, an Indian man who died a ‘natural death’ while working. He was in perfect health and was found dead on the floor of the dormitory. According to the authorities, he died of heart failure, something that was never officially investigated by an autopsy. This happens regularly, for example, about 80 percent of Indian workers are said to have died of ‘natural causes’.
However, Qatar does not find this suspicious: ‘The mortality rate among these communities is within the expected range for the size and demographics of the population. However, every life lost is a tragedy, and every effort is made to try to prevent every death in our country,’ the country responded in The Guardian.
The families of fallen workers are often left devastated in their home countries. They are left with many questions, having lost their main breadwinner and not easily compensated for the death of their loved one.