FIFA held a virtual meeting with political institutions to discuss human rights ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. FIFA president Gianni Infantino, head of the organizing body Hassan Al Thawadi and members of the European Parliament were present at the meeting. There were also representatives from the EU Commission, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the United Nations, and UNESCO among others. The Government said that its labour system is a work in progress but denied any accusations that thousands of migrant workers have been exploited.

“From day one, we have been committed to ensuring a legacy is delivered before the tournament and that this legacy lasts beyond the tournament too, specifically on labour reform but on other topics as well,” Al Thawadi said during a meeting organised by FIFA with regard to the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

“Our main question here in Qatar remains on LGBTQIA rights and specifically on the law that criminalises homosexuality,” said Piara Powar, executive director of the Fare network, an organisation set up to counter discrimination in European football. “We know that many LGBTQIA people are fearful of coming, of what awaits. Respect for local culture should not preclude reaching out to ensure the safety of LGBTQIA communities.”

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