According to the Qatari official in charge of organising the 2022 World Cup, “between 400 and 500” migrant labourers have perished while working on World Cup-related projects.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy’s secretary general, Hassan al-Thawadi, admitted as much in an interview, but said that an exact number of casualties was still “being negotiated.”

Thawadi stated to the television programme Piers Morgan Uncensored, “The guess is approximately 400.” “In the 400 to 500 range. I am not certain of the exact figure; it is under discussion. “One death is too many; that much is obvious. At least on our locations, the World Cup venues, the health and safety requirements are rising each year. Definitely to the degree that labour unions are applauding the improvements made and the work done on World Cup grounds.

Thawadi’s remarks drew criticism after the interview, as Nicholas McGeehan of the advocacy organisation Fair Square noted: “This is simply the latest example of Qatar’s deplorable lack of openness on the topic of worker fatalities. Instead of hazy statistics released through media interviews, we need accurate data and rigorous investigations. Numerous concerns remain for Fifa and Qatar, not the least of which is if their families were given compensation and where, when, and how these guys died.

The Supreme Committee has always stated that there have only been three fatal workplace accidents and 37 fatal non-work-related accidents since the World Cup’s stadium development got under way in 2014, among migrant workers there.

A representative for the SC stated on Tuesday that this is “recorded on an annual basis in the public reporting of the SC and encompasses the eight stadiums, 17 non-competition venues, and other relevant locations under the jurisdiction of the SC. Separate quotations about numbers refer to national data for Qatar spanning the years 2014 to 2020 for all work-related deaths (414) across all industries and nationalities.

In Qatar, how many migrant labourers have perished? What is known about the World Cup’s human cost in 2022. More than 6,500 migrant labourers from five nations — India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka — perished in Qatar between the years of 2000 and 2021, according to research published in the Guardian in 2021. Between the beginning of 2011, the year the nation earned the right to host the World Cup, and 2020, there were fatalities in Qatar from five different countries: India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

Activists have consistently asserted that the World Cup increased the number of migrant workers entering the nation, even though the Guardian’s statistics indicated the overall number of deaths from all causes and in all places. “A very large fraction of the migrant workers who have perished since 2011 were only in the nation because Qatar earned the right to host the World Cup,” McGeehan said at the time.

Despite not contesting the Guardian’s statistics, the Qatari government stated that “the death rate among these groups is within the expected range.

In a speech to the European Council earlier this year, Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, used the official statistic of three stadium work-related World Cup deaths.

The dispute over how many employees died during World Cup preparations, according to Steve Cockburn, head of economic and social justice at Amnesty International, “continues to reveal the terrible reality that so many bereaved families are still waiting for the truth and justice.” Thousands of workers have come home in coffins over the past ten years, leaving their loved ones in the dark.

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