Qatar migrant workers unable to return home

Qatar world cup stadium

Photo by Noushad Thekkayil at Shutterstock

The Guardian newspaper reported on Monday that migrant workers from West Africa are unable to return home and have been left stranded in Qatar.

This comes 100 days after the end of the world cup with men left without money and jobs despite the claim that the world cup would leave a legacy of better workers’ rights.

The Guardian spoke to a number of workers who confirmed that they were jobless and going hungry. Some have been forced to beg for resources from their families in West Africa who don’t have money to send.

Many of the workers are from Nigeria and have been scammed by rogue recruitment agencies in their countries. The workers were told if they paid out for a Hayya card that they could be converted into work visas after the World Cup. But this isn’t the case, although the validity of the card has been extended until 2024, it can only be used for tourism leaving many of the men who bought the Hayya cards in debt.

The authorities in Qatar, together with Fifa said the World Cup would be a catalyst for change with the Fifa president, Gianni Infantino saying Qatar’s progress on worker’s rights was “incredible.”

However, Qatar has received criticism for the abusive conditions forced on the world cup workers including forced payment of illegal recruitment fees, theft and death and injuries by men working on the stadium and its infrastructure.

Meanwhile, hundreds of men are still waiting to return home.

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Written by

Julia Cameron

Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.