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Joel Abdelmoez Interviewed About World Cup in Qatar

Joel Abdelmoez, PhD Student

CMES doctoral student Joel Abdelmoez has been interviewed in an article about the ongoing soccer World Cup in Qatar in the magazine Forskning & Framsteg.

The article was written (in Swedish) by Maja Lundbäck and published in Forskning & Framsteg on 18 November, 2022. Below are some excerpts from the article translated into English.

Read the article in Swedish: "Vägen till fotbolls-VM kantad av oklara dödsfall"

The World Cup in Qatar 2022 has been preceded by 6500 unexplained deaths of poor migrant workers. Some experts believe that it is probable that many more have died and that there are large numbers of unrecorded deaths, says researcher Joel Abdelmoez, and adds that it is therefore important that we continue to put pressure on Qatar even after the championship is over.

– The extreme heat is perhaps the main cause of the deaths. During the summer it can get as hot as 50 degrees. Had there been opportunities for workers to report problems, or to take breaks without risking losing their jobs, many deaths could have been prevented, says Joel Abdelmoez.

Some also describe the conditions as slave-like.
– The biggest problem has been the Kafala system. This means that the employer is a "sponsor" and you get your visa through the employer, he says. Fifa knew about this system when they decided Qatar could host the World Cup, and therefore certain responsibility also rests with Fifa. Even though the Kafala system has been reformed, the implementation of reforms have not yet had great impact.

– It is important that countries and organizations continue to put pressure on Qatar to make sure that they implement the reforms, Joel says.

Joel Abdelmoez's research profile