Mr. Gianni Infantino
Federation Internationale de Football Association
P.O. Box 8044
15 December 2022
Dear Gianni Infantino,
This Sunday, 18 December, as well as Qatar National Day, it is also International Migrants Day. We’re sure that you will know this, but we understand that your attention will be elsewhere. The Men’s World Cup Final is an important occasion, after all.
We know that the convergence of those two days was not by design - as originally planned, of course, this World Cup would have been concluded many months ago - but perhaps we can also hope that it might give you a moment’s pause to consider what its impact has been for migrant workers. And, perhaps, what it’s legacy for those same migrant workers could yet be.
You are probably sick of receiving letters like these now, but we’d really urge you to read this one. Because before International Migrants Day, we have three requests for you.
That you make a real and immediate commitment to deliver a compensation fund for migrant workers, and the families of migrant workers, killed, injured, or otherwise abused in the delivery of this World Cup.
That you use all of Fifa’s influence to reinforce to your partners in Qatar the vital, positive legacy that a Migrant Workers Centre could have for the country you have given the gift of a World Cup to.
And that you commit to working with Qatar and expert agencies around the world to break down the systems that allowed a celebration of sport to bear such a terrible impact on the lives of so many vulnerable people.
We won’t waste your time by restating the facts. By now, you know them as well as we do. And we don’t make these requests in order to be belligerent, either. We make them in the spirit of fair play, teamwork, and solidarity. We extend our hands to you in an offer to work together to make real changes on behalf of the people who need them the most. A lot of the hard work has already been done, and at Equidem we have been tracking down workers who worked on World Cup sites, whether in hotels, stadium construction, or services; all they are asking for is what they are contractually and lawfully entitled to. We are ready and willing to share these cases with you and with the Qatari authorities to get them the compensation they are owed; something so simple would change lives.
But as we have your attention, we will ask your time for one more thing. We have attached to this letter four pieces of testimony from migrant workers who have given their labour and their dedication to making this World Cup happen.
At the start of this World Cup, you said “I feel a migrant worker. I feel like them because I know what it feels like to be discriminated, to be bullied as a foreigner in a country.”
Please, read their words. Hear their voices. And if you still feel like them, use your power to act in their interests.