There are many recurring problems faced by Qatar World Cup in 2022 and though they are trying to resolve a few issues, but the stories of the construction workers responsible for assembling shiny super stadiums to dazzle the world continue to overshadow the event.
Qatar is by far the richest country in the world but has faced relentless criticism because of various reasons, one of which is the death of 1,200 workers directly linked to the construction of their 7 world class Football stadiums.
Most workers’s families have not been compensated for, with amnesty international and several other NGOs leading independent investigations into their harrowing tales. Most workers have died outside of the stadium due to poor living conditions, lack of nutritional or basic food, extreme temperatures, long working conditions that have led to sudden cardiac attacks and body injuries.
“It is hard to be away for so long,” one worker, employed to build the 40,000-seater Al-Rayyan Stadium, told the Guardian . “Sometimes the family want to have you in their midst – and you may not have money to send them. We were supposed to earn something big – but we earn small: 650 a month basic salary.”
That barely adds upto £140 per month, £35 per week and basically is a grim figure £5 per day in exchange for eight-hour days and six-day weeks – even below the condemned provisional minimum wage that the government has set (£160 per month)
Workers have travelled from parts of Africa, namely Ghana, where many claim to have arrived to a far different proposition than the one they were promised or anticipated when making the sacrifice.
”Our system in Ghana is the extended family. When anybody needs help, they come to you. They know we have travelled to Qatar and ask us for money, but we don’t have it,” said another. “I do not have enough to feed my family. The money is not what we expected to get. We think about this all the time.”
Its not just about the physical activities or pressure their bodies endure, they are suffering mentally too, leading many of them to come together in order to ensure they survive their ordeal.
“We don’t have help from anywhere,” one reveals. “We have to support and encourage ourselves every day. Otherwise what will you do: kill yourself?”