The strong face-off between English and Qatar Football Association takes a friendly turn.
Chief of English Football Association, Greg Clarke signed “Knowledge sharing” memorandum of understanding with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the body responsible for the 2022 tournament, and the Qatar Football Association (QFA).
The differences between English and Qatar Football were a result of various controversies that surrounded Qatar then, ranging from violation of rights of migrant workers to voting issues for hosting FIFA 2022.
Greg Dyke, then English FA, chief described Qatar being awarded the hosting rights of World Cup as “the worst moment in FIFA’s history”. Qatar was criticised for ignoring labour rights for building FIFA stadium and was considered to be “the best of the bad options” for winning the bid.
After the investigation cleared Qatar for any wrongdoing to win the bid for hosting FIFA 2022 there has been a slight change in the sentiment. Further Qatar’s commitment to International Labour Organisation (ILO) to bring in labour reforms including freedom of workers to change jobs, minimum wages without discrimination and healthy working conditions, can be considered as the major turning point towards the change of heart.
The association is focussed around sharing of ideas experiences and expertise including grassroots football, youth development, women’s football, management and administration with the aim to promote and improve football.
British Ambassador to Qatar, Ajay Sharma, who said: “This will mark the beginning of even deeper cooperation between our two countries, and underlines the UK’s support for Qatar in delivering a successful World Cup 2022.” The association is though a friendly move but is not free from raising important questions regarding human rights.
Qatar has taken a series of steps in the direction already and has shown commitment towards achieving the reforms in spirit. Though it is still under scrutiny from Amnesty International, Human rights groups and various other organisations for successful implementation of committed labour reforms.
However this development is bound to raise both motivation of Qatar to host FIFA 2022 to best of its capabilities without compromising the rights of workers.