It’s been almost five months since the FIFA World Cup ended in Qatar, earning the tag of a successful event held in the Middle Eastern country. It took the hard work of thousands of migrant workers to make the event successful, but still, three World Cup security guards who were detained while trying to resolve a dispute over unpaid wages are still being held in Qatar, months after their arrest, according to The Guardian.
The news outlet reported that Shakir Ullah and Zafar Iqbal from Pakistan and an Indian national, have allegedly been sentenced to six months in prison and fined 10,000 riyals (Rs 2,20,000) each. The findings, first established by the human rights group Equidem and verified by the Guardian, are a shocking postscript to the World Cup, which Fifa promised would leave a lasting legacy of better workers’ rights in the Gulf state. Qatar has not commented on the case.
All three workers were employed by the local private security firm Stark Security Services to work on the tournament’s major locations, but they were let go days after the final despite having months left on their employment agreements.
Human rights group Equidem is demanding the immediate release of the migrant workers.
“This is the true cost of Fifa’s reckless disregard for the rights of people who help them generate huge profits,” Equidem’s director, Mustafa Qadri, said.
The Guardian spoke with nine additional foreign employees who were employed in a similar way, and they all acknowledged that their contracts had been ended early.
“We went to Qatar to earn money and make a better life for our family, but the company and authorities cheated us,” said another fired security guard from Pakistan. “We felt so helpless.”