Since winning the bid to host the World Cup, Qatar has been the focus of Western media, which has heavily criticized the Gulf state for its treatment of migrant workers.
Dutch companies have made millions of euros from construction projects for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, despite a spate of criticism from the Netherlands against host country Qatar.
The findings were presented in Dutch newspaper Trouw on Tuesday, which pointed to deaths of migrant workers also involved in World Cup construction sites.
The newspaper noted that it remains unknown whether there have been any fatalities on the projects Dutch companies have been working on. Some of the companies making millions are construction giant BAM, steel company Frijns Staal and Royal HaskoningDHV.
The companies worked to build Qatar’s metro station, airport and stadiums to welcome some 1.5 million football fans who flocked to the Gulf state for the sporting event.
Listing the companies, the Dutch broadcaster claimed Qatar was not prepared for November’s kick-off, despite Qatari and FIFA officials claiming the opposite.
The latest report on the money made by Dutch companies is in stark contrast to statements of protest from the Netherlands – over Qatar hosting the World Cup over human rights abuses.
Various sponsors of the Netherlands national football team turned down the event, including ING, Albert Heijn, KPN and the lottery company Nederlandse Loterij.
The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) was among those speaking out against the sporting event in recent years. The association announced this Doha News last year that it was never “favoured” for Qatar’s bid for the 2022 edition of the World Cup due to “lack of football history and harsh temperatures”.
However, the KNVB retracted its statements during its visit to Doha in February.
During the visit, Dutch members approved the St. Regis Hotel in Doha to house the national soccer team and two soccer fields at Qatar University as designated training sites.
Since winning the bid to host the World Cup in 2010, Qatar has been the focus of Western media, which has heavily criticized the Gulf state for its treatment of migrant workers.
However, several outlet headlines have been described as “sensational” by Qatari authorities.
In May, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani took action against unfair criticism of the Gulf state at the World Economic Forum (WEF).
“For decades, the Middle East has suffered from discrimination. And I have found that such discrimination is largely based on people not knowing us and in some cases refusing to know us,” said Sheikh Tamim.
Qatar has embarked on historic reforms to ensure workers’ rights are respected since winning the bid to host the major event.
Some of these included dismantling the controversial kafala system that prevented workers from freely changing jobs. Another is the region’s first non-discriminatory minimum wage law, which was introduced last year.
Doha has also worked closely with the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) along with other international bodies which have assisted it in improving local working environments.
“These individuals, including many in positions of influence, launched attacks at an unprecedented pace when a mega sporting event was being hosted by other countries on different continents,” the Amir said, noting that these countries have their own problems and Challenges.
To better support workers, the Department of Labor launched a new platform for workers’ grievances in May 2021. This enables employees to report violations of labor law publicly.
In December alone, more than 2,000 labor complaints against companies and institutions across the country were filed with the ministry, resulting in mass fines and punitive measures.
While positive changes have been observed and commended by legal bodies, there are numerous cases of employers not complying with the reforms.