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Category: Qatar

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Dress codes, empty seats and Xavi: football in Qatar – in pictures

With four years to go until the 2022 World Cup, our photographer Tom Jenkins has been to check out the preparations and take in a Qatar Stars League gameWorld Cup 2022: special report | The workers’ story | Xavi on Qatar Continue reading…

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‘It’s an honour to be here’: Xavi on a mission to give Qatar a team to be proud of

The Spain legend is seen as central to emirate’s efforts to improve the national side in time for the 2022 World CupThe gulf between Qatar’s rank in the global football hierarchy and its vaulting, nation-building project to host the World Cup in 2022, …

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‘Football makes miracles’: Infantino still hopes Qatar will share 2022 World Cup

Fifa president persists with 48-team plan for 2022Expanded tournament would involve neighbouring countriesThe Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, is pressing ahead with the proposal to expand the 2022 World Cup from 32 teams to 48, which would mean match…

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Qatar 2022: £40 a week to build the World Cup stadiums

Workers from some of the world’s poorest countries are being paid a pittance to deliver the football dream of the world’s wealthiest per capita stateThe men employed on building the 40,000-seat al-Rayyan football stadium were having their lunch, in the…

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‘How can I raise my daughter?’ Widow of Qatar World Cup worker fears for future – video

Renuka Chaudhary has said she is fearful for her young daughter’s future after her husband died while helping to construct a stadium for the World Cup 2022.Tej Narayan Tharu died in August when he fell from a high walkway at the £512m Al Wakrah st…

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Four years to go: Qatar on course for its improbable World Cup

Super-rich state determined to defy doubters as it presses on with preparations for 2022 but being in Doha for a few days prompts scepticismIt began almost a decade ago as the most unfeasible bid ever to host a World Cup: an outlandish proposal for “ai…

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Qatar World Cup workers still exploited, says Amnesty report

Charity says promised government reforms to ‘kafala’ system have not taken place Migrant workers building infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup and other big projects in Qatar are still suffering exploitation and severe human rights violations despite …

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Qatar 2022 bid team ‘sabotaged World Cup rivals’

Whistleblower tells Sunday Times that PR agency and former CIA operatives spread fake propagandaThe Qatar 2022 World Cup bid team broke Fifa rules by running a secret campaign to sabotage their rivals for the tournament, it has been claimed. The claims…

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Football and fat fees: questions raised over funding of sporting conference

Was ‘sports integrity’ event that repeatedly questioned 2022 World Cup decision funded by Qatar rivals?After Russia’s wildly successful World Cup, the eyes of the sporting world have turned to the next host, Qatar – and a recent event in London gave an…

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Qatar’s World Cup, Pep Guardiola and the right to wear a yellow ribbon | Letters

Eddie Hapgood’s daugher Lynne Hapgood on the story behind the 1938 Berlin salute. Plus Justin Horton and John Clark on the Manchester City manager’s affiliationsRichard Williams (Ribbons and salutes, Sport, 27 February) is right in asserting that “hist…

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Qatar stadium where UK worker died was ‘downright dangerous’

British coroner says Zac Cox given substandard equipment by managers at World Cup venueThe only western construction worker killed in the building of World Cup stadiums in Qatar was provided with substandard equipment by managers who should have known …

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England friendlies with Qatar on cards after FA agrees partnership

• ‘Memorandum of understanding’ to ‘share knowledge’ with Qatar FA • FA chairman Greg Clarke signs deal with 2022 World Cup hostsThe Football Association has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Qatar Football Association ahead of the Gulf Sta…

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Qatar World Cup bosses offer no explanation for British worker’s death

Zac Cox’s relatives have waited 10 months for official account of why he died in accident at Khalifa stadiumA 10-month effort to find out how a Briton was killed while building Qatar’s Khalifa stadium for the World Cup has been met with a wall of silen…

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Fifa urged to press Qatar on conditions for World Cup stadium workers

• Fifa urged to actively use its leverage to engage with host government• Campaigners describe system for employing workers as modern slaveryFifa has been urged by its own advisory board on human rights to press the government in Qatar about the impact…

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Qatar World Cup workers’ rights to improve with end of kafala system, claims union

• System described as modern slavery by trade union body• News greeted cautiously by expert on migrant workers’ issues in the GulfThe International Trade Union Confederation claims to have secured the agreement of the government in Qatar to significant…

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Fifa’s World Cup money-grabbing may be running into the sand in Qatar | Marina Hyde

Our heroes’ formula of leaving with all the cash and paying no tax could be coming awry in the Middle East as a Dubai official suggests Qatar should give up the World Cup

Exciting territory for the Middle East ingenues at Fifa, as the Qatar World Cup is elevated to the status of geopolitical bargaining chip. I know! It’ll be hard to know whether to qualify for it or sign a triple entente in the hope it’ll see us through the group stage.

But first, a recap. Back in June, several countries in the region – including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt – instituted a blockade of Qatar, severing diplomatic relations and cutting off trade routes and so on. This, they said, was a response to the country’s support for terrorism and closeness to Iran. Among their various demands was that Qatar shut down the Doha‑based al-Jazeera and align itself far more tightly with other Gulf countries. Eye‑catchingly, Dubai’s high-profile security chief has now upped the stakes and claimed the blockade would end if Qatar gave up the World Cup. “If the World Cup leaves Qatar,” reasoned Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan last Sunday, “Qatar’s crisis will be over … because the crisis is created to get away from it.”

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Thousands of Qatar World Cup workers ‘subject to life-threatening heat’

• Human Rights Watch says hundreds of workers dying every year
• Statutory work breaks in summer midday hours not sufficient

Many thousands of migrant workers on construction sites in Qatar, including those building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, are being subjected to potentially life-threatening heat and humidity, according to new research on the extreme summer conditions in the Gulf. Hundreds of workers are dying every year, the campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said in a strong statement, but they claim that the Qatar authorities have refused to make necessary information public or adequately investigate the deaths, which could be caused by labouring in the region’s fierce climate.

HRW argues that millions of workers are in jeopardy, including those in the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – because statutory work breaks imposed during summer midday hours do not protect them sufficiently. An analysis of the weather in Doha last summer has also shown that workers on World Cup construction projects were in danger, despite the more advanced system used by the tournament organiser, Humidex, which measures safety levels of heat and humidity.

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A £198m transfer is not about football. It’s about soft power | Simon Chadwick

The collosal Neymar deal, funded by Qatar Sports Investments, shows how far governments will go to secure global influence

• Simon Chadwick is professor of sports enterprise at Salford University

In 1905 my club – Middlesbrough – broke the world transfer fee record when it paid Sunderland £1,000 to sign Alf Common. It was the first time in history a football player had been sold for four figures. Now, 112 years later, the record has been smashed for the second summer running, with Paris Saint-Germain paying £198m for Brazilian superstar Neymar, the highlight of the latest period of transfer hyperactivity that ended yesterday. This phenomenon transcends sport. How can an individual in any sphere be worth £198m? Who would pay that and why? What does the now normalised outlay of mind-boggling fees and salaries say about society? How did we get here?

Related: China’s money men prove fluent in English football’s first language | Richard Williams

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2022 World Cup in Qatar under threat as Saudi Arabia joins blockade

• Saudis, UAE and Bahrain close land route, deny airspace over ‘terror’ claims
• Fifa, now sponsored by Qatar Airways, decline to comment

The prospect of Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup has been plunged into the most serious doubt after the country’s neighbours broke off diplomatic relations and blockaded its borders. In a culmination of hostilities simmering for years and accusations that Qatar is a major funder of terrorist organisations, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have closed the only land route into the tiny peninsula and refused to allow use of their sea ports or airspace.

The multibillion-dollar preparations to host the 2022 tournament, which involve building nine stadiums and huge infrastructure, is put into perspective by local reports that Qataris are so worried about the blockade that they are stocking up on food. The border with Saudi Arabia is the only road route into the country; Qatar relies on sea ports for its materials and the blockade of airspace is a huge logistical handicap to the country and its flagship airline, Qatar Airways.

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Qatar spending $500m a week on World Cup projects

Country’s finance minister says the rate of spend could continue for the next four years to get country ready for tournament

High-spending World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar are laying out almost $500m every week on major infrastructure projects for football’s biggest tournament, the country’s finance minister said.

That eye-watering level of spending could continue until 2021, Ali Shareef Al-Emadi said on Tuesday.

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