DOHA ( Associated Press) — Qatari authorities are investigating the death of an expatriate worker who was allegedly carrying out repairs at a resort that served as a training base for the Saudi national team during the World Cup.
The head of the World Cup organizing committee in Qatar, Nasser Al Khater, expressed his condolences to the family of the worker.
“For now, what happened and how it happened is still being investigated. And obviously this is something that saddens us greatly,” Al Khater said.
The worker was a Filipino man who was repairing lights at the Sealine Beach resort, reports The Athletic website. He said the worker tripped, fell off a ramp while walking next to a forklift and landed on concrete.
The complex was the concentration of the Saudi team, which was eliminated in the group stage.
Qatar has come under fire for the working conditions of the expatriates who did many of the huge construction jobs for the World Cup. The country spent $200 billion on stadiums, metro lines and other infrastructure.
Last week, Hassan al-Thawadi, an organization official in Qatar, estimated the number of workers killed during the tournament’s construction work to be “between 400 and 500”. This is higher than any figure previously reported by Doha.
The Supreme Committee for World Cup Legacy and Compliance, of which Al-Thawadi is secretary-general, later said it was referring to data on work-related deaths across the country from 2014-20, specifically World Cup-related deaths. Not of
Earlier, Qatari officials reported that there had been three deaths related to construction work on World Cup stadiums. Another 37 construction workers reportedly died of causes unrelated to their work.
Human rights groups consider these figures to be incomplete, pointing out that Qatar does not count deaths that occur outside the workplace, but rather those caused by working conditions such as extreme heat.
Al Khater, director-general of Qatar 2022, said the death toll of construction workers in the country was lower than in other countries.
“We found that Qatar is like any other country in the world with deaths in the construction industry,” he said. “Unfortunately, people haven’t put it in the proper context.”