The FIFA World Cup

FIFA is set to hold its 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar — bringing labor conditions and migrant workers, LGBTI rights and gender equality, freedom of expression, and other human rights issues to the top of the agenda. Just a year later, the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia & New Zealand will also open opportunities to advance human rights for migrants, LGBTI-identifying persons, and others.

Finally, preparations for United 2026 are already underway, set to be held jointly in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Though more is sure to come, advocacy efforts and negotiations for stronger workers’ rights and fair agreements with host cities, airports, and stadiums have already begun.

See the latest research and analysis on FIFA World Cup events below to learn more.

China: FIFA Broke Own Rules for Club World Cup

FIFA Sidelines Human Rights, Keeps Beijing Hosting Arrangements Secret (New York) – FIFA’s surprise selection of China to host the 2021 Club World Cup disregarded its own human rights commitments in the bidding process, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing correspondence with the global football governing body.  In March 2019, FIFA abolished the Confederations Cup and used the available slot in the calendar […]

Qatar Dismantles Kafala System of Modern Slavery

Qatar’s programme of labour reforms today succeeded in dismantling the kafala system and heralding a modern industrial relations system. Exit visas for workers – including domestic workers, those in government and public institutions, and workers employed at sea, in agriculture as well as casual workers – have been eliminated. These workers have the same rights […]

ITUC, BWI and ITF Welcome End of Exit Permits for 1.5 Million Migrant Workers in Qatar

The ITUC, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have welcomed the announcement by Qatar on 4 September of new legislation which means migrant workers covered by the Labour Code will not have to seek their employer’s permission to leave the country. Law No. 13 of 2018 amends […]

FIFA – North America World Cup in 2026 a New Test for Human Rights

FIFA’s award of the 2026 World Cup to the “United” bid of Canada, Mexico and the USA will provide a further test of FIFA’s human rights commitments, with the inclusion of mandatory human rights requirements, including labour standards, in the bidding process. FIFA delegates meeting in Russia on 13 June chose the United bid ahead […]

Iran: FIFA Called on to Enforce Human Rights and non-Discrimination Policy

The International Trade Union Confederation, along with several union and civil society organisations, is calling on FIFA to ensure that its human rights policy is fully respected, and ensure that Iran ends its ban on women attending men’s football matches. The ITUC and the Building and Woodworkers’ International BWI, Human Rights Watch, the Centre for […]

Letter to FIFA President Infantino on the detention of Iranian women football fans

Re: Iranian women football fans and journalists detained outside Azadi Stadium Dear President Infantino, The Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA), a global coalition of NGOs and trade unions committed to embedding human rights and anti-corruption in world sport, is greatly disappointed by the events yesterday in Iran in which female football fans and sports reporters […]