Adviser: FIFA should strip nations of World Cups over human rights abuses

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FIFA should strip World Cups from countries who are failing to eradicate human rights abuses.

Those are the views of a Harvard professor who was was tasked by FIFA to recommend human rights obligations for world soccer’s governing body.

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John Ruggie, who previously formed business and human rights principles for the United Nations, was asked by FIFA to produce a report following concerns over worked in Qatar being mistreated.

Qatar is due to host the World Cup in 2022 but numerous issues have been reported regarding human rights with migrant workers who are building soccer stadiums in the host nation.

“Where FIFA is unable to reduce severe human rights impacts by using its leverage, it should consider suspending or terminating the relationship,” Ruggie said.

More details from the Associated Press:

Among his conclusions, Ruggie writes “where FIFA is unable to reduce severe human rights impacts by using its leverage, it should consider suspending or terminating the relationship.” Ruggie says that should apply to any entity FIFA has a relationship with – from World Cup hosts to sponsors.

FIFA’s latest statues include a commitment to protect “all internationally recognized human rights.”

Current FIFA president Gianni Infantino had the following to say regarding Ruggie’s findings, as he also suggested cutting ties with any sponsors who have human rights issues.

“I would like to thank Prof. Ruggie for his work in producing this report, which, together with FIFA’s own analysis and ongoing work, will guide the way forward,” Infantino said. “This is an ongoing process and of course challenges remain, but FIFA is committed to playing its part in ensuring respect for human rights and to being a leader among international sports organisations in this important area.”

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According to its own statues, FIFA must uphold “all internationally recognized human rights.”