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 state

The men employed on building the 40,000-seat al-Rayyan football stadium were having their lunch, in the model accommodation camp of the “supreme committee” organising the 2022 World Cup, when I talked with them about their lives as migrant workers in the wealthiest country on earth. They had come from Ghana, where they said adverts about construction jobs in Qatar were broadcast on the radio, and about 300 of them had taken the opportunity. All four had paid agents, an exploitation that is officially outlawed but is endemic in the recruitment of millions of people from poorer countries to work all over the oil and gas-rich Gulf.

“The agent said to me: ‘Qatar is the richest country in the world; you can Google it,’” one man told me. “He said we would earn a ‘huge salary’. But when we came here, we found it was the opposite.”

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