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Qatar sacks manager ahead of AFC World Cup qualifying

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With two World Cup qualifiers coming up next and no points to show thus far, Qatar has fired manager Jose Daniel Carreno.

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The decision came down Friday as Qatar prepares to take on South Korea and Syria in preparation for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Qataris have failed to take points out of their first two WCQ matches in 2016, falling on the road against Iran and 1-0 to Uzbekistan in Doha. Qatar currently sits last in Group A through two rounds in the third round of Asian qualifying.

Uruguayan Jorge Fossati, who currently manages Qatar Stars League side Al-Rayyan, is expected to take over Qatar’s managerial position, however, no official decision has been made yet.

Italian Super Cup to be played in Doha, Qatar in December

ROME, ITALY - MAY 21: Patrice Evra of Juventus FC and Davide Calabria of AC Milan in action during the TIM Cup match between AC Milan and Juventus FC at Stadio Olimpico on May 21, 2016 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
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MILAN (AP) Juventus and AC Milan will play in the Italian Super Cup in Doha, Qatar on Dec. 23.

Serie A and the Qatar Football Association made the announcement on Friday.

It will be the ninth time the competition will be played outside Italy and the second time in Doha after Napoli beat Juventus in a penalty shootout in 2014.

The match usually features the Serie A and Italian Cup champions, but since Juventus won both competitions last season, Milan qualified as the Cup runner-up.

The stadium and start time have not been determined. Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar FA president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalida Al Thani says, “Our strong ties with Italian Football are proportional to our commitment to organize world class events for the global football family.”

Qatar World Cup head: Blatter US support should be looked at

Sepp Blatter, FIFA president
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LONDON (AP) The head of the Qatar World Cup says Sepp Blatter’s support for the rival United States bid for the 2022 tournament should face more scrutiny.

Qatar’s FIFA backers have been criticized for seemingly ignoring the inspection report before voting for the Gulf nation in 2010.

But Hassan Al-Thawadi, secretary general of the Qatar organizing committee, says then-FIFA President Blatter “wanted the U.S. to win regardless of the merits of the bid, regardless of anything else … that needs to be looked at.”

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Addressing a London audience, Al-Thawadi added that “it’s just fascinating that nobody is raising any concerns about that (Blatter) and looking into that … but fair enough. I guess we will take the flak again.”

The U.S. bid has not been accused of impropriety. Qatar has also denied any wrongdoing.

Worker dies after falling ill at Qatar World Cup stadium site

In this photo taken during a government organized media tour, workers use heavy machinery at the Al-Wakra Stadium being built for the 2022 World Cup, in Doha, Qatar, Monday, May 4, 2015. Qatar’s inability to ensure decent housing for its bulging migrant labor population was “a mistake” the government is working to fix as it prepares to host the 2022 World Cup, the country’s top labor official said Monday, vowing his country would improve conditions for its vast foreign labor force. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
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DOHA, Qatar (AP) World Cup organizers say a worker has died after falling ill on the site of one of the stadiums being constructed for the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

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The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said Saturday that 48-year-old Indian national Jaleshwar Prasad died after he “fell ill on-site around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday.”

The statement says that Prasad, who was a steel worker employed on the Al Bayt Stadium project, “received first aid treatment until paramedics arrived. He was transferred to Al Khor Hospital but sadly passed away around 11:30 a.m. Al Khor Hospital reported the cause of death as cardiac arrest.”

It adds that “a full investigation is underway.”

[ MORE: FIFA panel to monitor labor conditions in Qatar ]

Qatar is often criticized by rights groups and trade unions for alleged abuses and deaths on a range of construction projects linked to the 2022 World Cup since it won hosting rights in 2010.

Qatar is relying heavily on construction workers from south Asia.

A FIFA-appointed human rights expert from Harvard University recently advised that tournaments should be moved from countries where abuses persisted.

FIFA panel to monitor labor conditions at Qatar stadiums

Stadium is pictured as construction continues at 2022 World Cup Stadiums on December 27, 2015 in Doha, Qatar.
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DOHA, Qatar (AP) FIFA will create a panel to monitor construction at World Cup stadiums in Qatar to ensure “decent working conditions.”

During his first working visit to Qatar on Friday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the group will include “relevant sectors of civil society and other relevant FIFA stakeholders.”

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Qatar is often criticized by rights groups and trade unions for alleged abuses and deaths on a range of construction projects linked to the 2022 World Cup since it won hosting rights in 2010.

Last week, a FIFA-appointed human rights expert from Harvard University advised that tournaments should be moved from countries where abuses persisted.

“We take our responsibility seriously and are committed to playing our part,” Infantino said in a statement published by FIFA.

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Infantino visited the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha and workers’ accommodation during a two-day trip, and also met the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Amnesty International welcomed “steps in the right direction” announced by the FIFA president, who was elected two months ago.

“Finally, it appears FIFA is waking up to the fact that unless it takes concrete action, the Qatar 2022 World Cup will be built on the blood, sweat and tears of migrant workers,” said Mustafa Qadri, a spokesman for Amnesty on migrants rights in the Gulf region.

The gas-rich emirate is expected to spend tens of billions of dollars before the November-December 2022 tournament kicks off, preparing eight new and renovated stadiums and related projects such as transport links and accommodation.

Qatar is relying heavily on construction workers from south Asia who are tied to the “kafala” system of sponsorship common in Gulf nations, which critics say exposes migrants to exploitation.

Harvard professor John Ruggie said last week that FIFA should have gotten assurances from Qatar that the “kafala” system would not be used for any World Cup-related job before bidding even started in 2009.

Though Qatari authorities have promised reforms, progress with new laws has been slow.

“FIFA and I will take the Qatari authorities at their word and I look forward to the concrete actions which will be the real testament of will,” Infantino said, adding he was “confident that we are on the right track.”

The head of Qatar’s organizing committee, Hassan al Thawadi, said the first World Cup in the Middle East would meet all FIFA requirements.

“Crucially, we are also firmly committed to leaving a lasting social legacy after the tournament – including in the area of workers’ welfare,” Al Thawadi said in the FIFA statement.