By Kadeem Simmonds in Britain:
Wednesday 19th November 2014
Doha was yesterday chosen to host the 2019 Athletics World Championships by the International Association of Athletics Federation Council who were immediately condemned for their decision by Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy.
Qatar, who have been allowed to continually exploit thousands of migrant workers building stadiums for the 2022 Football World Cup, beat Barcelona and Eugene, Oregon, in a secret vote.
General secretary of Ucatt Steve Murphy told the Star: “This is a terrible reflection on the world of sport. International bodies should be well aware of the appalling human tragedy that is occurring in Qatar with migrant construction workers and it is astounding that any other body would give a world major sporting event to this country.”
It is reported that at least 4,000 workers could die before the start of the World Cup —based on 1,200 deaths reported by the Indian and Nepalese embassies back in March.
The decision was also condemmed by Middle East research for Human Rights Watch Nicholas McGeehan who previously told the Guardian that “The reforms that Qatar has announced will not significantly improve the situation,” and warned the IAAF not to pick the country based on “PR spin.”
But the warning was ignored and McGeehan said yesterday: “The IAAF must surely have known that Qatar’s labour system remains deeply exploitative when it took today’s decision so this raises the question as to how important it considers the lives and welfare of the migrant workers on whom the 2019 world championships will depend.
“If Qatar had shown any signs of making significant reforms to its labour system then this decision could have represented just reward for Qatar’s progress, but as it stands it looks like the IAAF has just given its seal of approval to Qatar’s callous indifference.”