Browsing 'world cup 2022' News


FIFA headquarters

A new advisory board with a human rights focus will hold its first meeting with FIFA in Zurich today.

The formation of the independent panel comes as the world’s football governing body fends off international criticism over labor abuses in various countries.

Problems have been found especially in nations that have held and will host the World Cup, including South Africa, Brazil, Qatar and Russia.

Mohamad Nuski/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Last year, the author of a report commissioned by FIFA urged it to “consider suspending or terminating” its relationship with World Cup hosts who fail to clean up their human rights records.

The organization has stopped short of committing to that recommendation.

But in a statement this month, FIFA said it will take the new board’s advice seriously when it comes to ensuring that “labour standards, health and safety, property rights, security, discrimination and freedom of expression” are met across its operations.

‘Standing up’ for rights

The panel includes representatives from the United Nations, trade groups and businesses such as Coca Cola.

Human rights groups appear to be cautiously optimistic about the development.


Workers on Khalifa stadium renovation

Speaking to Doha News, James Lynch, deputy director of global issues at Amnesty International, said the panel “includes a number of credible voices.”

But he expressed concern because the panel’s mandate appears to have changed from one of monitoring and oversight to advising.

He added:

“If FIFA is going to live up to its recent public commitment to take human rights risks as seriously as it does its commercial interests, then it will need to listen very carefully to the advice of this group and act on their recommendations.”

In addition to the new panel, FIFA said it is coordinating closely with Qatar and Russia’s World Cup organizing committees to ensure they are meeting appropriate labor standards.

It added that officials are also working on integrating human rights criteria into the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup.



New trees at SCDL nursery

World Cup organizers in Qatar are urging businesses and residents to donate any trees they remove from their homes and workplaces instead of throwing them out.

The rescued trees will then be used to green stadium sites ahead of the 2022 tournament, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) announced in a statement.

The process works like this: A resident contacts the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) for help in removing a tree.

Bijan choudhury/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Officials there get in touch with the SCDL, who asks the resident if they’d like to donate the plant instead.

The goal is to rescue thousands of trees in the coming years.

Qatari resident Abdulaziz Al-Taleb has donated the very first tree, which now lives at the site for the upcoming Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

It, like all other transplanted trees that go up on World Cup sites, will sport a plaque with the name of the family who made the donation.


Since all the stadiums are not slated for completion until 2020, many of the rescued trees are being taken to the SCDL’s nursery in Al Shamal.

So far, some 5,000 trees have been granted a new lease on life there.


Tree and grass nursery for landscaping around World Cup stadiums

Another 16,000 trees are being imported from Asia and Europe in the coming weeks, the SCDL added.

Yasser Al Mulla, senior manager of the committee’s Landscape & Sport Turf Management, said:

“Our motto is give one, take one. When we receive a tree from a private home, we give a young Sidra tree in return.”

In keeping with the green theme, the nursery will also grow and harvest swathes of grass. They will be equivalent in size to around 168 football pitches each year.

These will be used by contractors on the precincts of the World Cup sites, the SCDL said last year.



Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s World Cup organizers have awarded the main construction contract for one of their final tournament stadiums.

The Al Thumama stadium will be built by a joint venture between Qatar’s AlJaber Engineer (JEC) and Turkey’s Tekfen Construction.

The venue will be located between E-Ring and F-Ring Roads, or between the Medical Commission and the under-construction Kahramaa Awareness Park.


Al Thumama stadium site

It is expected to host matches up the quarter-final stage, and will seat some 40,000 people.

Like several other Qatar stadiums, it will be dismantled to accommodate half that many people after 2022.

The selection of the Turkish firm comes as ties between Qatar and Turkey grow increasingly stronger.

In a statement, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi said:

“The stadium in Al Thumama is located in one of the most rapidly developing areas of Doha.

Once ready, the stadium and its surrounding precinct will not only become one of the capital’s central sporting arenas, but will also serve the local community as a central community destination.”

Progress report

Qatar is expected to finish eight World Cup stadiums by 2020. However, FIFA has yet to decide how many venues the country needs for the tournament.

Some, like Khalifa International Stadium on Al Waab, are almost complete, if not slightly behind schedule.

Meanwhile, work on the Al Khor Al Bayt and Al Wakrah stadiums are expected to wrap up next year.

And Al Rayyan and Qatar Foundation are slated for a 2019 completion.

But other venues remain in the preliminary stages. The design for at least three of the venues, including Al Thumama, Lusail and Ras Abu Abboud have yet to be revealed.

And the Ras Abu Abboud stadium will not have a main contractor until at least the second quarter of this year, the SCDL said.

So far, Qatar has chosen a diverse range of firms to build the stadiums, including from India, China, Italy and Cyprus.