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Qatar World Cup: 185 Nepalese immigrant workers died in 2013

By Mike Singer |

Still eight years away, the 2022 World Cup slated for Qatar has been mired in controversy, ranging from scheduling obstacles to the mistreatment of migrant workers.

A new Guardian report – which earlier this year detailed the stunning conditions Nepalese immigrant workers had to deal with in building the lavish stadiums – shows that 185 Nepalese workers died in 2013 alone. In the past two years, records show that at least 382 Nepalese workers have died while living in Qatar and working for the oil-rich state.

After the revelations revealed by the Guardian this past September, FIFA president Sepp Blatter claimed that soccer's governing body wouldn't ignore the issue. Qatar's ministry of labor also hired a law firm to vet the conditions faced by immigrant workers and a report is expected in a few weeks.

The Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee, tasked with trying to compensate the families of the workers who have died, is still getting notifications of new immigrant deaths.

“FIFA and the government of Qatar promised the world that they would take action to ensure the safety of workers building the stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup,” the PNCC said. “This horrendous roll call of the dead gives the lie to those reassurances. Many have been literally worked to death. Some have met with even more sinister ends. All have been betrayed by FIFA.”

Workplace conditions, namely the sweltering heat of Qatar met with inadequate hydration, have contributed to dozens of deaths caused by heart failures.

According to the Guardian, Nepalese make up about 1/6th of Qatar's immigrant workers. Death rates of immigrant workers from other countries such as Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka have yet to be released.

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