This graph shows the sickening extent of the Qatar World Cup deaths

A total of 1,200 migrant workers have died so far in construction since the 2022 Qatar World Cup was awarded.

Even Fifa president Sepp Blatter has admitted deciding to hold the event there was “a mistake”, due to scorching summer temperatures which are too hot to play football.

We’ve already reported on the incredible corruption allegations at Fifa over the football event, but another sickening truth has come to light – that 1,200 mostly Nepali workers have died, and the death toll could reach 4,000 by the time the event is held.


An investigation by the Mirror found workers were subjected to appalling working conditions in the cripplingly hot temeratures, including being beaten and paid just 57p an hour, which can be withheld for months at a time.

Workers are allegedly lured to the country by false promises of high salaries and then become trapped after employers take their passports. Under feudal kafala law, employees are bonded to employers and not allowed to quit or leave the country without their employer’s permission.


Meanwhile, we heard one worker building a World Cup stadium in Brazil was electrocuted, becoming the eighth worker to die in preparation for this summer’s World Cup.

Looking at how these figures compare to previous sporting events reveals just how truly shocking the Qatar deaths are.

Qatar World Cup graph updated

Qatar responds

*UPDATED 4 June 2015*

The state of Qatar has responded to the ITUC’s figures from this article.

It said: “These figures have absolutely no basis in fact. After almost 5 million man-hours of work, there have been no fatal industrial accidents on World Cup projects. Not one.”

Read the full statement: EXCLUSIVE: Qatar fights back – “No workers have died on Qatar World Cup projects”

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Readers' comments (8)

  • I am literally gobsmacked, I had no idea the death toll was this high. Sat here in shock!

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  • Here's the report into the Qatar World Cup from the ITUC for anyone who is interested in reading more about the problem

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  • I'm not surprised at all, I used to work out there and one of the reasons I left was due to how they treat their migrant workers from third world countries, They take their passports and make them work for usually a minimum of 2 years, during ramadan they are forced to work in the heat without water and so many of them die, it's sickening!

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  • Anonymous

    I live in Qatar as a British ex pat and indeed supply construction companies out here. Whilst conditions aren't great for all workers - they are doing lots to improve conditions for them and please, can we deal with facts as the Construction companies haven't even been chosen for the venues let alone work commenced, so how can people have died already constructing them ? This is irresponsible journalism.

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  • Thanks for the comments.

    Anonymous - yes the headline of the graph was misleading, we've changed it now. However, the figures are completely correct going by the official report. The ITUC used data from only two countries where most of the migrant workers came from. The implication of that being that the actual figure could be larger

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  • Anonymous

    Ok, thanks for setting that straight, there is clearly a huge problem.

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  • You only have to scratch the surface when it comes to FIFA to smell the rotten stench of corruption. However, the real power is with the public, if no one turns up in Qatar then that would send a clear message to the world that corruption will not be tolerated, unfortunately the majority of people don't care enough to make such a statement, so FIFA will continue to be the organization it is and the public will make a small bit of noise and then carry on attending the event.

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  • Apologies, must have missed the first paragraph as that states since 2022 was awarded.
    These statistics should be put to the FA and as much awareness raised as is humanly possible. With the tragedy of Hillsborough always in the memories of supporters and relatives; football, anyone should see 1 death as too many but 4000!!!

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