FIFA demands Qatar working conditions update

London: Qatar`s 2022 World Cup organisers have been told to update world football chiefs on measures being taken to improve the working conditions of thousands of expatriate workers employed on the project.

In a report last year, Amnesty International said migrant workers were being treated like "animals" while this week the Nepalese embassy in the Qatari capital of Doha revealed that almost 200 labourers from the Asian country had died in 2013, many from heart failure.

"The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in Qatar shall provide FIFA by February 12, 2014, with a detailed report on the improvement of working conditions in Qatar," said a FIFA statement.

The report will then be used to prepare for the hearing at the European Parliament on February 13, which will be attended by Dr Theo Zwanziger as the FIFA representative mandated to deal with the matter.

Dr Zwanziger has held various meetings with human rights and labour organisations in recent weeks, including Amnesty International and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in order to strengthen the dialogue between various interest groups and to reach a sanctioned approach, added the statement.

"We are currently in the middle of an intensive process, which is exclusively aimed at improving the situation of workers in Qatar," said Dr Zwanziger.

"Ultimately, what we need are clear rules and steps that will build trust and ensure that the situation, which is unacceptable at the moment, improves in a sustainable manner."

After the hearing at the European Parliament, a report will be delivered to the FIFA Executive Committee on March 20 and 21.

The Nepal embassy in Doha said it registered 191 deaths last year compared with 169 the year before.

Harikanta Paudel, a senior embassy official, told AFP by telephone that the highest number of deaths occurred in July when 32 workers died.

A Kathmandu-based foreign ministry official said that a third of the deaths recorded were due to "unnatural" heart failure.

More than one million Nepali migrant workers work in the Gulf region and Southeast Asia. Qatar alone hosts around 400,000 Nepalis as part of its two million strong migrant workforce.

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