In less than a year, millions of football fans will descend on Qatar to cheer on their favourite teams in the 2022 World Cup. They’ll be greeted by dozens of shiny new hotels, restaurants, roadways, and seven glistening new football stadiums. It will be a proud moment for Qatar, and for the entire region, which has never previously hosted a World Cup.
Pete Pattisson, who has been reporting on the preparations for nearly a decade, says this new infrastructure has come at a cost. Pattisson’s reporting shows 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in the course of World Cup preparations – many from sudden, unexplained causes.
Pattison tells Michael Safi about some of the workers who have lost their lives, and why the wage and labour changes recently introduced by Qatar’s government fall short