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Qatar says it will investigate worker’s death at World Cup hotel


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Qatari authorities said on Thursday they were investigating the death of a worker in an accident at work at Saudi Arabia’s hotel during the 2022 World Cup, according to information from sports news website The Athletic.

“If the investigation concludes that security protocols were not respected, the company is exposed to judicial investigations and harsh economic sanctions,” the government said in a statement.

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According to The Athletic, the victim is a Filipino man in his late 40s who fell from a forklift while fixing lights in a parking lot. Several sources said he was not wearing a seat belt.

“The Philippine Embassy in Doha is also investigating this case,” the Philippine Foreign Ministry told AFP, unable to offer further details at this time.

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In a separate statement, FIFA said it was “deeply saddened by this tragedy”. “We have contacted local authorities to request more details,” the organization added.

In Doha, the Supreme Organizing Committee of the World Cup guaranteed in a note that it was not the employer of the worker in question and that the accident occurred “on property outside its jurisdiction”.

However, the commission said it was following up the case “with the competent authorities” and in “contact with the family” of the victim.

Qatar has a compensation mechanism for accidents at work and unpaid wages, which has transferred more than $350 million (R$1.8 billion) so far, according to the authorities.

Since it was chosen to host the World Cup, in December 2010, the small Gulf emirate has been criticized for the employment and living conditions of its hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from Asia and Africa.

Doha responds that it has undertaken unprecedented reforms in the labor code, applauded by union organizations, which, however, ask for a more rigorous application.

The total number of deaths from accidents at work during the run-up to the World Cup varies according to sources. Qatar says 414 people have died between 2014 and 2020. NGOs point to several thousand since 2010.

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