FIFA not responsible for Qatar workers

 FIFA is not responsible for the working conditions of labourers helping to build stadiums for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar, the president of world football's governing body Sepp Blatter said on Tuesday.

"In Qatar they are working in big companies from Germany, from France, from England and from other European countries and they are responsible of their workers and not FIFA," Blatter told reporters on a visit to Sri Lanka.

For decades, migrant workers largely from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines have travelled to the oil-rich Gulf to work as cheap labourers and domestic help.

Qatar has come under increasing scrutiny over its labour practices since FIFA awarded it the right to host the World Cup.

Amnesty International said in November that Qatar has been slow to address concerns about the abuse of migrant workers, six months after it laid out plans for labour reforms.

Despite global pressure on Qatar to address reports of exploitative working conditions, 29,400 people, or 1.4 percent of Qatar's population, are estimated to be working as slaves, in forced labour or domestic servitude, a report from an NGO estimates.

More than 1.6 million foreign workers are employed in Qatar, where they outnumber the local workforce by nearly 20 to one. The Qatar Labour Ministry earlier said in a statement that it was committed to improving conditions for workers.

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