About Boardroom

Boardroom is a media network that covers the business of sports, entertainment. From the ways that athletes, executives, musicians and creators are moving the business world forward to new technologies, emerging leagues, and industry trends, Boardroom brings you all the news and insights you need to know...

At the forefront of industry change, Boardroom is committed to unique perspectives on and access to the news, trending topics and key players you need to know.

All Rights Reserved. 2022.

Qatar Says ‘Between 400 and 500’ Worker Deaths for 2022 FIFA World Cup

While the nation was unable to confirm an exact number, the worker deaths update out of Qatar was notably higher than anything that had been reported previously.

There have been “between 400 and 500,” deaths as a result of work done for projects related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatari official Hassan Al-Thawadi confirmed in an interview with Piers Morgan.

“The estimate is around 400, between 400 and 500. I don’t have the exact number,” Al-Thawadi, the secretary general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said. “That’s something that’s been discussed. … One death is a death too many, plain and simple.”

It’s the first time the nation has acknowledged the matter publicly, and the numbers are much higher than previous information provided by Doha. While no one would mistake this for full transparency, perhaps it’s a meager first step toward that.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

From 2014 to 2021, the Supreme Committee included only the number of casualties (40) for workers involved in building the $200 billion stadiums. Out of the 40 noted deaths, Qatari alleges that 37 were non-work-related deaths, such as heart attacks and COVID-19.

That clearly wasn’t the case. The Guardian posted Amnesty International’s report from 2021, accusing Qatar of “routinely [issuing] death certificates for migrant workers without conducting adequate investigations, instead attributing deaths to natural causes” included vague definitions like “cardiac failures.” This made it impossible for any families involved to sue or claim compensation.

The report found that 70% of migrant deaths were classified imprecisely. Furthermore, 69% of deaths among Indian, Nepali, and Bangladeshi workers categorized as natural causes. Furthermore, The International Labour Organization (ILO) found in 2020 that 50 people suffered work-related deaths and 500 were seriously injured.

Why? The average temperatures in Qatar typically exceed 100 degrees. The tournament was moved to the fall for players and fans, but workers were put in danger’s way with long hours in the scorching heat. Sure, Qatar took some steps to fix some employment practices, but it’s safe to say it’s a tad bit late. Especially when you consider how inconsistent the official numbers have been.

“For him now to come and say there is hundreds, it’s shocking. They have no idea what’s going on,” said Mustafa Qadri, the executive director of Equidem Research, a labor consultancy that publishes the toll of construction on migrant workers.

Read More:

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

About The Author
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. Puccio has 10 years of experience in journalism and content creation, previously working for SB Nation, The Associated Press, New York Daily News, SNY, and Front Office Sports. In 2016, he received New York University's CCTOP scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from St. John's University. He can be spotted a mile away thanks to his plaid suits and thick New York accent. Don't believe us? Check his Twitter @APooch.