Qatar World Cup works slammed

Goal. a soccer ball in a net.

%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%Fifa and the national football associations of the UK should put pressure on Qatar to improve the "sub-human" working conditions of thousands of migrant labourers building facilities for the 2022 World Cup, Labour's shadow international development secretary Jim Murphy has said.

Mr Murphy has recently returned from a trip to Qatar with the International Trade Union Confederation, during which he said he saw evidence of migrant workers being lured to the Gulf state by the promise of good salaries, only to have their passports taken away so they cannot return home.
He said it was for the football authorities, rather than Government, to put pressure on the tiny Arab kingdom, which was a surprise choice as host for football's biggest tournament when it was picked by Fifa over the US, South Korea, Japan and Australia in 2010.

Mr Murphy told Sky News's Murnaghan Show: "What I saw there will stick with me for a very long time.
Unless Fifa and the football authorities act on workers' rights in Qatar, the game that I love I will be embarrassed by and ashamed by forever.

"The migrant workers working there - who are already building much of the infrastructure, the hotels, railways and roads that will help make the World Cup possible, and are now beginning to build the stadiums - are living and toiling in conditions that are sub-human.

"They sign on to contracts in countries such as Kenya and Bangladesh, they are promised wages that they couldn't earn at home, but when they get there, their contracts are torn up. Many of them have their passports seized from them by their employers.

"They can't leave the country and this is a dreadful, ugly secret of the most beautiful and democratic game in the world."

Mr Murphy said he had met one Nepalese worker who had been stranded in Qatar as a stateless person for five years because his employer had taken his passport out of the country, leaving him unable to go home.

"That's just one example out of many thousands," he said.

Mr Murphy said he had spoken during his visit to the organisers of the 2022 World Cup, who assured him that there would be "massive changes" to a controversial system called kafala, under which migrant workers are "tied" to their employers.

"I think we all have to, through the football authorities in this country and beyond, make sure that those promises that were given to me are now delivered on," he said.

"Fifa, the English FA and the Scottish FA have got to act.

"On the assumption that this tournament continues in Qatar, those of use who love football, those of us who will be watching the World Cup this year in Brazil, those of use who are excited by the end of the domestic league season, we have got to look at what is happening in Qatar here and now."

Top 10 highest paid footballers
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Qatar World Cup works slammed

Little surprise that football's wonder-kid is in at number one, with a whopping £27.5 million of earnings over the last year. As well as some truly astounding performances for Barcelona, Messi has a signature clothing range with Adidas and is set to become the new cover star for EA sports games.

The Portuguese captain is not only the most expensive player in the world, he's also got more followers of Twitter than any other sportsman. Combine that with an huge ongoing deal with Nike and he's raking in £24.3 million.

The Cameroon international made his name in La Liga, playing for Barcelona, but sees his earnings shoot up in a multi-million pound deal with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala which brings his pay to £19.4 million.

Recently retired Beckham is the highest earner in British sport, according to the Sunday Times Sport Rich List. 'Brand Beckham' that has seen the 38-year-old amass a fortune of £165 million from endorsement deals and salary payments from his company, Footwork Productions, over the last decade. But Beckham is still some way off the richest sportsman in the world - golfer Tiger Woods, who is worth a staggering £570m.

Despite a year of scandal for Manchester United's star striker, he's in the top five highest earners for the first time in his career - and his pay? A healthy £17.2 million.

The Argentinian is one of the real high-rollers at Manchester City, and has made his performances match his impressive salary. Combine that with a Puma sponsorship and he's on £15.7 million.

Aguero's team mate is another top performer at City, and he also has deal with Puma. One of football's good guys, Toure donates all his Puma boot sponsorship money to charity - which still leaves him with £14.7 million.

The baby-faced Spaniard might have had a tough time of things since his move to Chelsea, but the tidy sum they pay him means he's in the top ten for the first time - with £13.9 million of earnings from wages and sponsorship from Nike and Pepsi.

With a very tidy pay cheque from Real Madrid and sponsorship deals with EA sports and Adidas, Kaka is on a very comfortable £12.9 million.

The new German captain and a star at Bayern Munich, his recent success has propelled him into the top ten for the first time, with a very tidy £11.9 million.


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