Stop foul play in Qatar

Playfair QatarThe TUC has launched the campaign – Playfair Qatar – to draw football fans into the protests against Qatar’s treatment of the workforce building the infrastructure for its 2022 World Cup. The campaign will complement other campaigns already running by bringing in new allies.

Fans – many of whom are also trade unionists – are as outraged as anyone that Qatar’s lax health and safety and repressive “kafala” laws are likely to lead to 4,000 deaths before the 2022 World Cup begins. Football fans are considered such an important constituency in the battle of the hosting of the World Cup that Qatar has paid a PR agency to set up a “grass roots” blog which also serves as a platform for character assassinations of anyone criticising the country. Continue reading

Qatar: Concern grows for missing human rights investigators

bn7hjebicaehanmTwo British human rights campaigners, investigating the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar have gone missing. Ghimire Gundev and Krishna Upadhyaya were last seen on Sunday when they sent panicked texts to colleagues saying they were being followed by police.

Speaking to ITV News, the Norwegian charity employing the men said it had yet to receive any information from the Qatari authorities despite numerous requests. A spokesperson said: Continue reading

The World Cup of our dreams

9781908699916To drag ourselves away from the banalities of the Brazil 2014 TV studio punditariat Mark Perryman provides a World Cup reading list.

The professionally cautious Roy Hodgson just couldn’t resist it could he? ‘England can win this World Cup’ he declares on the eve of the tournament. Not if Roy consults the match histories elegantly provided by Brain Glanville’s classic The Story of the World Cup they won’t. No European side has won a World Cup hosted in South America, Central America or North America. No England side has made it past the quarter-finals in a World Cup for 24 years. No England side has ever made it past the quarter finals at a World Cup in South or Central America. Why should things be any different this time Roy? That’s not to say the next three and a bit weeks can’t be hugely enjoyable for football fans, England loyal or otherwise. Continue reading

Boycotting Qatar World Cup 2022

Qatar_2022Sport and the left have not always been the most comfortable of bedfellows. Despite many famous left leaning sports stars over the years, sport remains associated with individual achievement and cut throat competition.

Yet the major international trade union campaign set to dominate the rest of the 2020’s involves arguably the biggest sporting event; the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Controversy has surrounded the staging of the competition in the dictatorial country ever since labour analysts found last year that an astonishing 4000 migrant workers could be dead from preventable industrial diseases and accidents by 2022.

More than 1,000 workers have already been killed whilst building the infrastructure that will deliver the World Cup. Continue reading