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SBD Global/November 22, 2013/International Football

Qatar's Abuse Of Migrant Workers Condemned In Resolution By European Parliament

The European parliament "has passed an emergency resolution condemning the widespread abuse of migrant workers in Qatar" and urging FIFA to "send a clear and strong message to Qatar to avoid the football World Cup 2022 [being] delivered by the assistance of modern slavery," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. The resolution reminded FIFA "that its responsibility goes beyond the development of football and the organisation of competitions." FIFA said that it "welcomed the resolution." Despite previously saying there was "plenty of time" to sort out the issue, FFIA President Sepp Blatter this week said it "should be addressed as a matter of urgency, following a meeting with trade union leaders in Zurich" (GUARDIAN, 11/21). REUTERS reported the resolution "stopped short of calling for the abolition of the Kafala, or sponsorship, system under which employees cannot change jobs or leave the country without the permission of their sponsors." The European Green Party "had wanted the resolution to mention the Kafala system." Green MEP Barbara Lochbihler said in a statement, "The resolution adopted today sends an important signal both to the Qatari government and international football authorities on the need to take urgent action to address the situation regarding forced and slave labour in Qatar" (REUTERS, 11/21).
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