NGOs urge FIFA to prioritise human rights ahead of 2022 World Cup expansion
A coalition of NGOs, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have called on FIFA President Gianni Infantino to consider countries' human rights records before expanding the 2022 World Cup from 32 to 48 teams.
On Thursday FIFA members will meet to discuss a proposal to expand the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from 32 to 48 teams, with suggestions that additional matches could be played in other Gulf countries, such as Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia or UAE.
In an open letter sent to the FIFA President, the rights groups said that FIFA must ensure that any country wishing to host a World Cup match first provides credible guarantees to meet international human rights law and labour standards, and develops clear action plans to prevent and mitigate potential abuses in connection to the tournament.
“Given the possibility that an enlarged 2022 World Cup could potentially require additional countries to host the tournament, we remind FIFA of the commitment it has made to enshrine human rights, transparency and sustainability... in its bidding process,"
"As such we call on you (Infantino) to publicly confirm that any assessments of potential co-hosts for 2022 would follow a process that includes these criteria.", the letter states.
Signitaturies include Amnesty International, Football Supporters Europe, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, ITUC, Transparency International, the UNI Global Union and the World Players' Association.
The letter has been sent ahead of this week's FIFA council meeting in Miami.
Click here to read the letter: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/03/fifa-must-put-human-rights-at-heart-of-world-cup-expansion-talks/