Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) called on FIFA, the governing body behind the World Cup, to move the 2022 competition from Qatar to the United States amid growing concerns over Qatar’s labor practices.
In a letter addressed to FIFA President Joseph Blatter on Monday, Casey laid out concerns over corruption and labor abuses, particularly of migrant workers.
“Employers often do not complete legal procedures to secure work permits, leaving workers at risk of arrest and deportation at any time,” Casey said in the letter, citing statistics that said the Qatari workforce was 94 percent migrant labor. “Illegal fees and withheld wages have been widely reported.”
Casey reminded Blatter that the U.S. had 50 cities capable of hosting the World Cup, which was the runner-up in the November 2010 bidding process.
“Qatar’s host bid was classified as ‘high risk’ by FIFA’s own inspectors in the run-up to the selection process. You even recently said that selecting Qatar was ‘a mistake,’” he wrote, a reference to a May interview Blatter gave to Swiss channel RTS.
FIFA declined to comment on the letter Monday.
official press release | source