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Volume 6 No. 215

International Football

Qatar 2022 "has responded to the latest critical report surrounding conditions for migrant workers involved in the nation’s huge infrastructure development" leading in to the World Cup by stating that they "are formalizing welfare standards that contractors must implement," according to SOCCEREX. The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee on Monday said that it informed Amnesty Int'l "about the development of a worker welfare committee, and plans to publish workers’ welfare standards by next month." The organizing body for the delivery of the World Cup added that standards will be in line with Qatari law and int'l best practices and "set clear guidelines from recruitment to repatriation." Qatar 2022 said in a statement, "Compliance with the law and Q22's standards will be a contractual obligation for companies working on Q22 projects and will be transparently and robustly monitored through a three-tier compliance and auditing structure" (SOCCEREX, 11/19).

FIFA and South Africa Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula "are on a collision course" following last week's announcement by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke that football's world governing body "would be taking over the proposed investigation into allegations of match-fixing," according to Mohammed Allie of the BBC. The South African government "was to launch a judicial enquiry" into allegations that South Africa FA officials had cooperated with Football 4U, a betting syndicate run by Raj Perumal -- a Singporean who was convicted by Singaporean authorities of match-fixing in '95 and again in Finland in '11. FIFA said Ethics Committee Chair Michael Garcia "has decided to open a preliminary investigation on the alleged cases of match-manipulation in South Africa in view of the time elapsed" since South Africa had initially agreed to start its own probe. However, Mbalula told national broadcaster SABC, "Jerome Valcke and FIFA have no jurisdiction over South Africa. This is not a banana republic." Mbalula said that "he was awaiting comment from President Jacob Zuma before proceeding with the investigation." Mbalula: "The matter is with the president who will table a report in relation to the recommendations we have made and we will engage SAFA and everybody in relation to what we want to do" (BBC, 11/18).