England manager Gareth Southgate, when speaking to the media, mentioned the ‘issue’ of the alleged human rights violations concerning the migrant workers involved in the construction of the stadiums.
Five days later, The CEO of the Qatar World Cup 2022, Nasser al Khater, sprang to his nation’s defence. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said, “My question to the coach is, has he been to Qatar?”.
"Somebody with a lot of influence, such as Southgate, somebody with a big audience that listens to what he says, has got to pick his words very carefully.", he added.
Ever since being awarded the World Cup finals in 2010, Qatar have been riddled with allegations of human rights violations and ill-treatment of migrant workers. To which al Khater says, “He needs to come here and speak to workers and understand what workers get out of being here.”
Southgate also voiced his concerns over the section of fans who might refrain from travelling to Qatar due to laws that criminalise homosexuality and restricts women’s rights.
Though Nasser al Khater is confident that the fans would feel “safe” and “comfortable” there. He also offered to meet Southgate to discuss his concerns on Friday as the draw for the World Cup group stage matches takes place.