Football commentators around the world have raised concerns that the performance of labourers building stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in illegal conditions could be affected by the heat of the Qatar summer.
Critics have argued the construction should happen during the winter instead. “The Qatari state have signed up some great overseas talent for the upcoming construction season. I’ll be looking out for the Nepalese workers in particular,” said one pundit. “It’d be a tragedy if the stadiums they built were sub-standard because so many of them had died.”
The chair of the Qatar bid has insisted that preparations are running smoothly. “We have our culture, you have yours,” he said. “The World Cup has always been about improving understanding between countries. In particular, the understanding that being forced to work until you die to produce another country’s stadiums for no pay is just the way it goes in our global society. We’ll deliver the expected quality of infrastructure, no matter how many extra slav-I mean labourers, we have to ship in.”
Qatar has also come under criticism for the quality of the labourers’ villages. “No air conditioning, forty to a room, open sewers…you’d expect this if you’re in the Championship, but this is the pinnacle of international competition!” said one migrant worker who had just signed for Qatar. “And why did they have to take our passports when we arrived? Must be FIFA red tape.”
Fans of infrastructure produced by forced labour remain worried that 2022 may disappoint. “We all saw the rubbish the Indians produced at the Commonwealth games under pressure and that was a home game!” said Ed Hartnett, a carpenter from Kent. “I might even boycott if they don’t move the construction to winter. Although I’ll still watch it on TV, obviously. It’s the World Cup!”