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Deaths in Qatar: 6,500 Migrant Workers Have Died Constructing 2022 World Cup Site

In this weekend's hot clicks: The death rate of workers constructing the 2022 World Cup site in Qatar, a March Madness PSA and more.
qatar world cup site construction deaths

Qatar 2022

Construction on venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar began immediately after the small Middle Eastern country was awarded the event in December 2010. Since then, more than 6,500 migrant construction workers have died, according to a report from The Guardian that received shockingly little attention.

To build seven new stadiums, a new airport, dozens of hotels and an entirely new city that will host the World Cup Final, the country hired workers from, among other countries, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In the 10 years since earning the controversial bid, an average of 12 workers from those five countries have died per week.

“The total death toll is significantly higher, as these figures do not include deaths from a number of countries which send large numbers of workers to Qatar, including the Philippines and Kenya,” wrote The Guardian. “Deaths that occurred in the final months of 2020 are also not included.”

“Natural death” is the most commonly listed cause of death, including 80% of Indian deaths. Several reports have indicated most worker deaths are a result of extreme summer temperatures, which routinely hit 120 degrees and average 113 degrees for several months. Road accidents, workplace accidents and suicide are among the other most-cited causes of death.

March Madness PSA

With approximately 42% of the United States workforce working from home full-time, fewer workers will be forced to submit PTO, use “sick” time or otherwise skirt corporate responsibility to watch the 2021 NCAA Tournament. But if you are planning to skip at-home or in-office work in one way or another for the first weekend of the tourney, don’t make the mistake of planning for the typical Thursday-Friday routine.

For the first time in its current format, the NCAA Tournament won’t have a Thursday-Friday First Round schedule, nor will it have a Saturday-Sunday Second Round schedule, Thursday-Friday Sweet 16 schedule or Saturday-Sunday Elite Eight schedule. In mid-January, the NCAA announced schedules and locations for each of the three weekends of March Madness in Indiana:

First Four: Thursday, March 18

First Round: Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20

Second Round: Sunday, March 21, and Monday, March 22

Sweet 16: Saturday, March 27, and Sunday, March 28

Elite Eight: Monday, March 29, and Tuesday, March 30

Final Four: Saturday, April 3

National Championship: Monday, April 5

The most notable change for those skirting work responsibility: Monday, March 22. Games tip at Noon ET on Monday, a day typically reserved for mid-major Sweet 16 celebrations. If you block out Thursday, March 18, a day typically reserved for 16 First Round games, you’ll be stuck without basketball until the First Four games tip at 4 p.m. ET.

Plan ahead. Don’t get stuck in a meeting while Winthrop is leading Wisconsin in the final minutes of their Second Round game.

Odds & Ends

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