Gianni Infantino says Qatari migrant workers take pride in hard work

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said migrant workers take pride in hard work when asked about the conditions of the workers building World Cup stadiums and infrastructure in Qatar.

Infantino said workers would be proud to build stadiums for this year’s tournament in the Gulf nation.

At the world conference of the Milken Institute in Los Angeles, the head of the world football governing body was asked whether FIFA would make “any kind of commitment” to help the families of dead workers in Qatar.

Although he did not answer this question directly, he pointed to the introduction of a minimum wage and the improvement of labor rights in Qatar.

“Let’s not forget one thing when we talk about this topic, which is work, even hard work, hard work,” said Infantino.

“America is a country of immigration. My parents also emigrated from Italy to Switzerland. Not that far, but still.

“When you give someone work, even in difficult conditions, you give them dignity and pride. It is not charity. You do not do charity. You do not give something to someone by saying, ‘OK, stay where you are. I feel good because I can give you something.’ “

Infantino said three people died during the construction of the stadiums.

Infantino said: “When it comes to the construction of World Cup stadiums – we are investigating all these issues with external entities – there are actually three people who have died.”

He said other workers “may have died in other jobs and so on, and obviously FIFA is not the world’s police or responsible for everything that happens in the world.

“But thanks to FIFA, thanks to football, we have been able to face the state of all 1.5 million workers who work in Qatar.”

Qatar refutes the number of migrant worker deaths reported by some international media and says it has introduced a number of reforms to its labor regulations since it was selected to host the World Cup.

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