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Equidem Open Letter Calls on FIFA to Act in the Interests of Migrant Workers

Sunday 18 December is International Migrants Day.

Equidem calls on Gianni Infantino and FIFA to act in the interest of migrant workers in Qatar by ensuring workers receive the compensation they deserve and support an independant Migrant Worker Centre in Qatar.


Mr. Gianni Infantino
Federation Internationale de Football Association
FIFA-Strasse 20
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.

Yours sincerely,

Mustafa Qadri
CEO, Equidem

Migrant Worker Testimonies

You can view testimonies from migrant workers that were subject to exploitation, discrimination and poor working conditions by clicking on the links below. We have hidden the identity of two of the workers due to fear of reprisals:

Support Us

Help us to ensure migrant workers receive the compensation they deserve and create lasting change in Qatar.

During our 18-month investigationand the development of our explosive report, “If we complain, we are fired”, the Equidem team came across hundreds of workers that worked on the FIFA World Cup stadium sites who faced discrimination and exploitation. Thousands are still owed their wages , had to pay illegal recruitment fees or were subjected to poor working conditions. There are also countless bereaved families that have lost loved ones in Qatar who are yet to receive compensation.

Help us to track down migrant workers who are owed compensation and create lasting change in Qatar with an independent Migrant Workers Centre.

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