Doha, June 02 (QNA) - An article in the Washington Post on 27 May ("The Human Toll of FIFA’s Corruption") claimed that 4,000 workers are likely to die while working on World Cup sites, and that some 1,200 had already lost their lives. This is completely untrue. In fact, after almost five million work-hours on World Cup construction sites, not a single worker’s life has been lost. Not one.
In preparing its report, it appears that the Post simply took the total annual mortality figures for Indian and Nepalese migrants working in Qatar and multiplied those numbers by the years remaining between now and the 2022 World Cup – a calculation which assumes that the death of every migrant worker in Qatar is work related.
Qatar has more than a million migrant workers. The Global Burden of Disease study, published in The Lancet in 2012, states that more than 400 deaths might be expected annually from cardiovascular disease alone among Qatar’s migrant population, even had they remained in their home countries. It is unfortunate that any worker should die overseas, but it is wrong to distort statistics to suggest, as the Post’s article did, that all deaths in such a large population are the result of workplace conditions.
The Post’s article was accompanied by a dramatic graphic, which purports to compare the imagined fatalities in Qatar with the number of lives lost in the construction of other international sports venues, including the London Olympics, where just one worker was reported to have died. A more accurate comparison according to the Post's analysis would have also suggested that every migrant worker in the United Kingdom who died between 2005 and 2012 - whatever the job and whatever the cause of death - was killed in the construction of the 2012 London Olympics.
Qatar’s Government Communications Office sent a letter to the editor of the Washington Post challenging the 27 May article and the figures presented in the accompanying graphic. We received a reply stating that because the original article had appeared online and not in print, the Post would not be printing Qatar’s letter of complaint.
But while the Washington Post may not deem its online articles to be worthy of rebuttal, enormous damage has been done to Qatar’s image and reputation by the online publication of the Post's article. In fact, "The Human Toll of FIFA’s Corruption," with its fabricated numbers and its inflammatory and inaccurate graphic, has now gone viral, with almost five million views on Facebook and YouTube as of 1 June.
As a result of the Post’s online article, readers around the world have now been led to believe that thousands of migrant workers in Qatar have perished, or will perish, building the facilities for World Cup 2022 – a claim that has absolutely no basis in fact.
In our view, the misinformation in the article has damaged more than the image of Qatar; we believe it has also damaged the Post’s reputation for fair and accurate reporting. With that in mind, we have requested an immediate retraction of the article by the Washington Post and a correction of the misinformation it contains. (QNA)
Doha, June 02 (QNA) - An article in the Washington Post on 27 May ("The Human Toll of FIFA’s Corruption") claimed that 4,000 workers are likely to die while working on World Cup sites, and that some 1,200 had already lost their lives. This is complet