Blood on the pitch


The decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar didn’t bother me in particular, for me, World Cups are a chance to watch great footballers playing for teams I don’t have a vested interest in.  That changed when reports of hundreds of deaths of foreign migrants, allowed in to build the infrastructure required to host the tournament.

The Indian embassy in Qatar report that the death rate of their nationals involved in construction projects in Qatar is reaching epidemic levels.  233 died in 2010, 239 in 2011, 237 in 2013 and 241 in 2013.  24 died in January this year, a total of 998 since the beginning of 2010.  This is a blight on humanity.

The Guardian revealed that 197 Nepalese died in 2012 and 185 died in 2013.  Many of the deaths are no characterised as classic construction accidents, the heat and environmental conditions, together with the lack of facilities for immigrants, mean many die of ‘natural’ causes, including heart failure, there are other nationals there too, also dying in alarming numbers.

Labour MP, Jim Murphy, last month said, “Some of the practices we know are taking place in Qatar amount to forced labour, and there are widespread concerns that the death toll could reach well into the thousands if nothing is done.”  The International Trade Union Confederation estimate (without needing to extrapolate greatly) up to 4,000 workers could die before the country is ready to host the tournament.

The prospect of a sea of blood on the pitch has not been enough to convince Fifa to call a halt to the slaughter, or at least use the threat of withdrawal to ensure migrants experience safe and humane living and working conditions.

As the tournament draws nearer, pressure groups will become better organised, but by that time, many more will have died.  As fans, or, in this instance, to adopt our more effective role as consumers of TV and companies who sponsor the tournament, we have a lot of work to do, and we need to start now.

Before Fifa act they will need a lot of encouragement from sponsors, unhappy at the prospect of their brands being associated with a death trade, and they will need approval from the lawyers.  Qatar ‘invested’ hugely in football as they were busy vacuuming up votes, including buying real estate on the front of Barcelona’s shirts, once regarded as an ethically responsible club.  The platform association with UNICEF looks like blatant opportunism.

Today’s Telegraph offers Fifa a chance to call a halt to the project.  They allege former Fifa vice president, Jack Warner and his family, were paid $2m just weeks after Qatar were awarded the tournament.  The Qatar authorities deny wrongdoing.

This is perhaps the most important article concerning the football industry in decades as it opens a door to stop the despair of thousands of workers living in abject poverty and mortal danger.  According to the Telegraph, law enforcement agencies are already active on this issue.  They need to quickly establish if the Qatar bid was assisted by criminal activity before the tournament can be withdrawn.  The danger is that irrespective of what law enforcement agencies uncover, or who ultimately goes to jail, there is so much illicit cash floating around Fifa that those in positions of power will protect their paymasters.

Before this happens, you, me, our clubs, and whoever cares from the various football associations, must organise and turn up the pressure on the criminals with their snouts in the Fifa trough.  If we pass up on this opportunity, we could wait decades for the next chance to rid the top of our game of criminals.

Seville – The Celtic Movement is available now:

“Of course we’d loved Blackburn, Stuttgart, Liverpool etc, but with twenty minutes to go in Oporto, I sat with my stomach recreating a range of football related sinking feelings from the past. You know, being told I was ‘rubbish’ by the high school team prima donna as another of his cannonball passes rocketed out for a shy under my foot, or the time I ran home from primary school to watch Celtic lose to…. someone…on a black and white television during the seventies. I’ve never wanted to find out who we lost to or what year it was. The memory is more intriguing left blurry like footage of the moon landings.”

Get yours here:

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  1. John o’neill are you sure that’s utd didn’t complain? Do you really trust the SFA and kelvins.mhave you learned anything from the corruption?

  2. Hamilton tim


    You were correct , ( mrs Mcglaughlin ) of the Barleycorn is called Margaret (soft spot for us)?


    Her son is rabid hun .

  3. The Comfortable Collective on




    18:08 on 18 March, 2014



    He mentioned it on radio scotland at the weekend.



    He also stated that the Dundee Utd chairman would sit in amongst the unitied supporters as he did not feel safe going to the directors box.



    that last comment let chic dung apoplectic at this slight on sevcovians who sit in the vicinity.

  4. Estadio Nacional on

    Surprised to see a CQN blog based on sensationalist an agenda driven news paper artical from the English media…




    Deaths anywhere are no good but the figures are from deaths in the total Indian population in Qatar, over 500,000 men, women and children at last count, obviously not all of them work in construction. The Indian government and embassy here in Qatar have confirmed these figures are for total population. http://dohaqatarnews.com/link.php?url=—-://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNFXuGog9aiyPdwSpx37tw_kKyvW_A&cid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&url=—-://www.sahilonline.org/english/newsDetails.php?cid%3D4%26nid%3D22503



    A wee bit of non lazy journalism.



    Death rate in India 2013 – 7.4 deaths per 1000 people.



    Death rates of Indians in Qatar 2013 – 2.07 per 1000 people.



    Death rates of Indians in Qatar construction 2013 – guess less than 1.50 per 1000 people.




    Conditions are not great for a lot of workers and there is deaths in construction same as everywhere else and probably more then most countries but that could be expected when they are trying to build city the size of Hamilton into a World Cup hosting country.




    Its not like the English media to be having a go at a sporting event host country that beat them to hosting an event….




    Maybe if Jim Murphy MP had a look at construction industry in Scotland there would be no need for the three CQNers Ive met here and I to have to come here to work….

  5. Well I retract my initial point if Comfortable Collective is correct. Thanks CC.



    A Ceilor,



    If they have option of extra tickets then there should be no problem.

  6. Comfortable. Ergo the SFA are lying. Did that bloke from media house move from the Hun to the SFA?

  7. Neganon,



    I wouldn’t trust the SFA nor HK. In relation to HK, I am ignorant about what he says as I don’t listen to him. Good to see you posting again Neganon. Rest.

  8. Jobo – I bought two netbooks off ebay for biz use in the past months, both second-hand but refurbished and came with wndows 7 installed.



    No complaints so far and picked them up for around £100 each. Ebay/Paypal always guarantees for a while if you discover any faults in early use of them.

  9. Jinkyredstar,


    Scotland beat Wales at Anfield to qualify for the ’78 WC Finals. We beat the Czechs at Hampden to qualify for the ’74 finals. Those were the days.

  10. Cadizzy 17:52



    Not sure, but I think (canny be @rsed Googling) that the Dutch are the tallest nation in the world these days.



    (Again, canny be @rsed Googling) but I’ve heard it told, that it’s all to do with the period – post WW2 thru the 70’s (when they eventually banned it) to do with the government encourging growth hormone in meat and dairy products.



    Do I qualify for CQN most useless trivia of the day award?

  11. Neganon, much as I like people to rest, my post to you should have ended with ‘Regards’.

  12. Jinkyredstar,


    Scotland beat Wales at Anfield to qualify for the ’78 WC Finals. We beat the Czechs at Hampden to qualify for the ’74 finals. Those were the days.

  13. eddieinkirkmichael on

    Estadio Nacional



    18:13 on



    Some interesting points mate.



    On average 1 person dies EVERY week in the construction industry in the UK. Every single one of them preventable.



    If one Police officer or nurse was killed at their work every week their would be a national outcry, but the workers in the construction industry are just poor joe bloggs and they don’t count , right?

  14. I am surprised at many who continue to listen to the discredited football authorities and media and Scotland. They are utterly discredited. And by implication, given their silence, so are those who run celtic.



    This disgrace continues and continues. To cheating Albion rovers, to lying about ticket allocations. All for the benefit of one new club.

  15. valentinesday on

    Good Evening Timland.



    I bought a Scotland top in 1978!!!!



    eddie……glad to see your got the hat back.

  16. omg! George Peat thinks it is unfair Dundee utd need to play semi at Ibrox.



    Methinks his agenda is against some folk at the SFA.

  17. Estadio Nacional on

    eddieinkirkmichael 18:22



    Good point, I work in construction so agree :)



    What I’m saying is the opposite, road death figures in Qatar is horrendous but that’s not related to the World Cup do hardly gets a mention.





  18. valentinesday on



    18:30 on


    18 March, 2014





    so did i, umbro diamonds down the sleeves. Well it was the 70s!!!





    Thank you for sharing the shame…………btw I also had a pair of


    Dunlop green flash, hope that gets me out of jail.

  19. eddieinkirkmichael on




    18:25 on



    So am I mate, I was getting pelters all weekend off the missus.



    On a brighter note, got a few weeks work through an agency starting tomorrow so things are looking good.

  20. valentinesday on




    Great news bud,hows that lassie of yours? she a great


    credit to you.

  21. Since the liquidation of rangers, fans of all clubs seem to be enjoying their football.


    Armageddon never came to pass, indeed some clubs are living the dream with finances back in rude health.


    There has been no real on the park controversy but the stench of the SFA assistance given to rangers before liquidation now reeks around the new club, sevco.


    Same club, 50 odd titles, watp blah blah blah. It would make you sick.


    The cloud of protestant superiority will be hanging around soon if sevco ever do make it to the top league.


    Don’t know if I’m up for hanging around for that.

  22. charles kickham on

    how come scientist can find waves on one of Saturn’s moons – but can’t find a rather large aircraft on earth ?

  23. valentinesday on

    charles kickham


    18:57 on


    18 March, 2014



    Because rich, influential, evil, people don’t want them to.




  24. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Jackie Mac and Dufc being horribly abused on hun media in typical Nazi fashion.



    The best thing JM can do is rip the vile huns a new back valve at their own hovel.



    No huns at paradise. It’s down to you Jackie.

  25. eddieinkirkmichael on




    18:52 on



    She’s fine mate. Decided to move back home as she split with her boyfreind, so that means I’ll be sent to the room to watch TV as I’ll now be out voted. Democracy stinks at times :(

  26. valentinesday on

    Where is everyone?












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