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FIFA wants answers from ‘22 World Cup host Qatar about migrant workers

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FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, is demanding Qatar explain how it is improving the welfare and living conditions for immigrant workers brought to the Gulf kingdom to build venues for the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar’s harsh treatment of the migrant workers has been condemned by human rights groups and FIFA said Thursday it expects, within the next two weeks, to be sent “information on specific steps” that have been taken to address those concerns.

In his correspondence with officials in Qatar, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said he is requesting a “detailed report on the improvement of working conditions,” setting a Feb. 12 deadline for a reply.

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Theo Zwanziger, a member of FIFA’s executive committee from Germany, is working with the International Trade Union Confederation to resolve some of the same issues.

“What we need are clear rules and steps that will build trust and ensure that the situation, which is unacceptable at the moment, improves in a sustainable manner,” he said

That’s not the only issue hanging over FIFA’s decision to award soccer’s biggest event to the tiny Gulf country. With summer temperatures in Qatar averaging more than 105 degrees, FIFA is being urged to move the World Cup to a fall or winter schedule, something it reportedly will take up in executive meetings next month.

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