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Report: 185 Nepalese workers died in Qatar last year, raising concerns over 2022 World Cup

Many have criticized FIFA for not taking a bigger stand on labor conditions in Qatar. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images) Many have criticized FIFA for not taking a bigger stand on labor conditions in Qatar. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Documents obtained by a Nepalese non-governmental organization show that 185 Nepalese migrant workers in Qatar died in 2013, according to an investigative report in The Guardian.

A substantial portion of the country's planned infrastructure development relates to the 2022 World Cup, for which Qatar is building nine new stadiums and renovating three other venues. Migrant workers are expected to provide much of the labor in the construction.

According to information from Amnesty International, "there are some 1.35 million foreign nationals working in Qatar" and "migrant workers now make up some 94 percent of the total workforce in the country."

The Guardian report raises new concerns about the 2022 World Cup. Poor conditions for migrant workers have been a major concern over Qatar's preparations for the tournament, which was awarded to the Gulf state in 2010.

A previous Guardian investigation revealed a variety of abuses, including forced labor, lack of payment and the inaccessibility of drinking water. During the summer, according to the previous report, deaths among Nepalese migrant laborers averaged one per day.

More deaths from last year are expected to be revealed, as workers from Nepal only make up approximately one-sixth of Qatar's total migrant workforce. The death toll, compiled from research by Nepalese NGO Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee, is at least 382 in the last two years.

Since the oil-rich state was named host country of the 2022 World Cup, critics have questioned FIFA's selection. Besides human rights concerns, allegations of bribery and questions about player safety in Qatar's summer heat have been rampant.

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