March 15, 2015

FIFA President Sepp Blatter told Qatar's emir on Sunday that the 2022 World Cup host nation must to do more to improve working conditions for migrant workers.

Blatter met Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha, days before FIFA's executive committee is due to confirm a November-December tournament schedule, and discussed Qatar's efforts to improve conditions for the construction workers building the stadiums and other projects for the event.

Although World Cup organizers introduced mandatory welfare obligations for contractors in the last year, changes to the labor law were only proposed by the Qatari government in May and are yet to be implemented.

''It is encouraging to hear the emir's personal commitment to workers' welfare and to get a sense of the improvements planned for all workers in Qatar,'' Blatter said in a statement. ''As various human rights groups have recently noted, progress has been made already, especially with regard to the standards introduced by the Supreme Committee relating to 2022 construction sites, but more must be done in Qatar to ensure uniformly fair working conditions for all.''

Blatter said a ''collective effort'' is required from the construction companies being used to rapidly expand the tiny nation to the authorities.

''It is clear that Qatar takes its responsibility as host seriously and sees the FIFA World Cup as a catalyst for positive social change,'' Blatter said.

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