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Qatar set deadline by FIFA over conditions for migrant workers

updated 3:09 AM EST, Fri January 31, 2014
FIFA has been plagued by a series of problems and controversies since Qatar was awarded the right to stage the 2022 World Cup. FIFA has been plagued by a series of problems and controversies since Qatar was awarded the right to stage the 2022 World Cup.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Qatar given deadline over conditions for migrant workers on 2022 World Cup
  • FIFA want detailed report by February 12
  • Amnesty International report last year highlighted the situation
  • FIFA president Sepp Blatter said at time it was "unacceptable"

(CNN) -- Organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have been set a tight deadline by FIFA to explain how conditions are improving for migrant workers on the various building projects associated with the hosting of football's showpiece competition.

The world governing body are demanding a "detailed report" by February 12 with "information on specific steps" being taken to improve the situation.

FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke wrote to Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Thursday to request the assurances.

Concerns over the welfare of migrant workers in Qatar was highlighted by an Amnesty International report last year, which reported on widespread abuse.

Read: Amnesty report condemns treatment of migrant workers

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It prompted FIFA president Sepp Blatter to describe the conditions as "unacceptable" and he raised the issue with the Emir of Qatar on a visit to Doha last November.

FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger has been given the responsibility to monitor any progress and has held a series of meeting with human rights and labor organizations, including Amnesty and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

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

"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."

The Qatar World Cup 2022 Committee was not immediately available for comment.

Zwanziger is due before the European Parliament on February 13, the day after the deadline for Qatar to report, in a hearing over workers' rights in the Arab emirate.

Read: Blatter: Working conditions in Qatar 'unacceptable'

The executive committee will also receive an update at its March 20 and 21 meeting.

"FIFA firmly believes in the power of the World Cup in triggering positive social change in Qatar, including improving the labor rights and conditions of migrant workers," it added.

Since Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup it has been dogged by various controversies, with FIFA still to decide on an actual date for the competition.

Acute summer temperatures in Qatar have led to fears over safety for players and spectators and Valcke told a French radio station earlier this month that he favored a winter World Cup with a November start.

FIFA's official position is that a final decision will be made in December 2014.

Read: Top FIFA official envisions winter 2022 World Cup

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