HSE and the World Cup in Qatar

 

Following on from the excitement of the World Cup (where England actually do well) combined with the summer heatwave, I thought it would be interesting to look forward to the next World Cup, scheduled for 2022 in Qatar. To keep things on brand I have decided to look into the construction and development going on in Qatar to prepare the country for one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.

‘Criticism from a number of media outlets, sporting experts, and human rights groups highlighted problems such as Qatar's limited football history, the high expected cost, the local climate, and Qatar's human rights record. There have been numerous allegations of bribery between the Qatar bid committee and FIFA members and executives. Several FIFA members have since gone on record saying that the decision to award the tournament to Qatar was a "mistake"’

There was a great deal of controversy surrounding the competition being awarded to Qatar, one of the main issues was centred around whether the country itself had the infrastructure in place to host an event of this size. There were a number of protests in the build-up to the World Cup in Brazil back in 2016 centred on social injustice, unsafe working conditions and environmental impacts.

Over the past 8 years, Qatar has been planning, designing and building a number of major stadiums across the country with the aim to have 8 main venues completed before the competition begins. This link below details the plans released back in 2010.

Construction of these stadiums has come on majorly over the past 8 years, but at what cost?

 

Various international media outlets researching the preparation for the World Cup suggest that many construction workers are denied food and water are not paid on time or at all, and often have their papers taken from them, effectively as the Guardian reports making them slaves.

‘The Guardian has estimated that up to 4,000 workers may die due to lax safety and other causes by the time the competition is held. These claims are based upon the fact that 522 Nepalese workers and over 700 Indian workers have died since 2010, when Qatar's bid as World Cup's host was won, about 250 Indian workers dying each year. In the United Kingdom, in any group of half a million 25- to 30-year-old men, an average of 300 die each year, a higher rate than among Indian workers in Qatar.’

This news has caused major controversy, however, the BBC argued that the death toll could not be solely attributed to the World Cup, citing Qatar’s economy had tripled in size between 2005 and 2009 and a construction boom was already well underway. The Indian Government also stated in a press release that "Considering the large size of our community, the number of deaths is quite normal."

There will be a great deal of resistance and protest to the World Cup being held in Qatar over the next 4 years from various human rights groups, LGBTQ and Environmental Activists.  The construction plans and development surrounding the competition have been hugely ambitious so it will be interesting to see how things progress to completion in the run-up to 2022.


I joined Mattinson Partnership in 2014 after completing a BSc in Geography from Aberystwyth University. Over the last 3 and a half years with the business I have become a Team Leader whilst developing the Construction & Real Estate sector - placing professionals across Health & Safety, Building Surveying, Quantity Surveying, Project Management, Valuations, Development and Land. Outside of work I enjoy going to art galleries and film events, as well as using all of my annual leave to climb up mountains in Africa and travel around Southern India and Europe.

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