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Volume 10 No. 25

International Football

A report will reveal this week that more than 400 Nepalese migrant workers "have died on Qatar's building sites as the Gulf state prepares to host the World Cup in 2022," according to Jamie Doward of the London GUARDIAN. The "grim statistic" comes from the Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee, "a respected human rights organisation which compiles lists of the dead using official sources in Doha." It will "pile new pressure" on the Qatari authorities and FIFA "to curb a mounting death toll that some are warning could hit 4,000 by the time the 2022 finals take place." It also "raises the question" of how many migrant workers in total have died on construction sites since Qatar won the bid in '10. Nepalese workers comprise 20% of Qatar's migrant workforce, and many others are drafted in from countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Qatar's World Cup authorities "recently issued detailed guidelines that they hope will address concerns about their employment laws" (GUARDIAN, 2/15).

FIFA has accepted Italy coach Cesare Prandelli’s proposal "to introduce ‘water breaks’ in exceptionally hot weather" at this year's World Cup in Brazil, according to FOOTBALL ITALIA. Prandelli "had pushed for this safeguard to be put in place, particularly when playing in the Amazonian areas of the country in the afternoon." FIFA Chief Medical Officer Jiri Dvorak: "With respect to the high temperatures in some parts of Brazil during the competition, all the decisions we make are based on scientific data." It is believed these breaks "will be for three or four minutes every half-hour of football" (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 2/15).