Stadium of Skulls


Owen Johnson


While the usual Fifa Tournament would usually be focused on actual football, this one has gone viral for many of the wrong reasons. In the past few years Qatar has embarked on the construction of stadiums, airports, and transportation systems. The dozens of stadiums were to be built in preparation for the 2022 world cup, and everything else could possibly be attributed to the expected, major spike in tourism. These projects required a substantial amount of workers; workers that Qatar did not have. Since it was announced in 2010 that Qatar would be hosting the 2022 World Cup, the country has seen nearly a million migrant workers. And now that Qatar is currently hosting the tournament, news of the wrongful death treatment, and lack of compensation for the workers is coming into the spotlight.
Since 2010, When Qatar was set to host, 6,750 South-Asian migrants have died. Many of these deaths were young workers with generally no underlying health conditions. The leading cause of death is suspected to be from heat exhaustion. However, some of the causes of death are very troubling These causes include: Blunt injury due to fall from height, asphyxia due to hanging, and some undetermined due to decomposition.
This is not even the only injustice once we consider the lack of compensation for deaths or injuries. Almost all of the workers are providing for their family or a spouse. Some reported only seeing their family a few times during several years. As the workers provide the main source of income for their family, we can imagine how devastating the sudden death of these people can be. Therefore many families are seeking compensation, and so far Qatar has done a lackluster job. Along with the unspecified explanations of death families are receiving little to no compensation. This is crazy, considering the fact that most workers have to pay to find work in the first place. Recruiting firms are supposedly helping many people find work in Qatar, but only after the individual has paid an egregious price for this service. Ghal Sing Rai, a twenty year old worker, had to pay the equivalent of $1,300 for his recruitment fee to work as a cleaner at one of the construction camps. The average Migrant worker in Qatar makes roughly six dollars per day.

Migrant workers shoveling concrete(
Many questions for Qatari officials remain unanswered. In the small amount that was said, the Qatar World Cup’s chief executive added that, “Death is a natural part of life, whether it’s at work, whether it’s in your sleep.” When asked about a Filipino migrant worker named Alex who died after falling on his work site, Al Khater said,“We have a successful World Cup. And this [migrant worker’s death] is something you want to talk about right now?”
The public would definitely like to see more concern and action towards the deaths.
I got the chance to interview some peers about the situation. Leo Jokay (12) said, “It’s really disturbing to read about, especially since I did not know how bad it actually was.” When asked what he thought would happen as the world cup went on Leo added, “As more information comes out through the course of the tournament, I think the attention will increase.” I then asked Gabe Bowman (12) what he thought about Al Khater’s comments about the deaths. Gabe remarked that, “It’s really sad to see that there is such a disregard for the value of human life in Qatar.” I asked William Davis (12) When asked what the Fifa organization should do, William Davis (12) said, They should move the tournament to another country for the remainder of the tournament until the deaths are investigated and adequately compensated for.

Hopefully, future hosts of the tournament can learn from these events. Although Qatar continues to cover this up, it is imperative that we demand answers , as well as action for the families who lost a loved one.