We join our colleagues from Cordaid in a commitment to catalyzing positive social change in Qatar through football diplomacy. Cordaid's inspiring campaign produced mourning bands with the names of migrant workers who died during the 2022 World Cup preparations. By wearing the mourning band, we can honor their memory and reflect on the great inequality in Qatar.
The World Cup, starting within two weeks in Qatar, raises mixed feelings among football fans. Is it ok to cheer for your team, even though many people paid for this spectacle with their lives? Since 2010 in Qatar, at least 6,500 migrant workers have died during the construction, reported The Guardian. People from India, Nepal, and Bangladesh came to work in Qatar to earn money for their families. Now many of these households are left without their primary provider, struggling to acquire compensation and uncover the true causes of their loved one's death.
Given the inhumane working conditions and numerous human rights violations against women and the LGBTQI+ community, attending and watching matches in Qatar is a dilemma. At the same time, human rights organizations warned us that boycotting the championship means the migrant workers may lose their income. Besides, we could exert pressure on Qatar's government by attending the World Cup.
Our colleagues at Cordaid might have just the answer to the ethical dilemma. They have launched an inspiring campaign that helps football fans (Cordaid Investment Management's team has quite a few) to show support for the victims and encourage positive social change in Qatar through football diplomacy. Together with sports brand Jako, they have created mourning bands with the names of migrant workers who died in Qatar. By wearing the mourning band in the coming weeks, we can honor those who lost their lives and show solidarity with their families.
If we want to guarantee that such abuses will never happen, we need to increase awareness of the individual tragedies and the dreadful inequalities that the world championship in Qatar has revealed.