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LONDON---FIFA has tasked a Harvard professor
with formulating human rights requirements for
World Cup hosts and sponsors of the scandal-tar-
nished governing body.
John Ruggie will provide a report in March show-
ing how business and human rights principles he
conceived for the United Nations can speedily
become part of FIFA s statues.
"I hope everyone at FIFA is taking these issues
seriously because the future of FIFA is at stake,"
Ruggie told The Associated Press. "I suspect given
the pressure FIFA is under they should look to it
as a helpful tool and get on with it."
Following Ruggie s review, such requirements will
be an integral condition for countries entering bid-
ding for the 2026 World Cup, with the process yet
to be launched.
FIFA prioritising human rights issues in every
aspect of its operations---from competitions to day-
to-day contracts---appears to be a response to con-
cerns about worker rights in Qatar in the five years
since the Gulf nation won the right to stage the
2022 World Cup.
"If the guiding principles had been in place in
the context of the (2022) FIFA bidding requirements,
the requirements themselves would have looked
very different," Ruggie said in response to questions
"We are not asking FIFA to solve every global
human rights problem but what the recommenda-
tions will require is that they become aware of the
human rights impact of their own activities, rela-
tionships and events, and they have adequate pro-
cedures in place to avoid those adverse conse-
Qatar organisers say no workers have died during
14 million man hours on stadium projects, which
have more stringent regulations than the country s
own laws. The scrutiny of Qatar has centered on
non-World Cup projects, with the government yet
to approve much-talked about labour reforms.
If Ruggie s envisaged proposals to FIFA had been
in place at the time of the 2022 World Cup vote,
Qatar would have been mandated to commit then
to overhauling its labor laws.
"A host country would have had two choices:
either not to bid or agree to the conditions in which
the bid was reviewed and accepted," Ruggie said.
Ruggie s rules will not just cover construction
workers at stadiums but also, for example, security
forces protecting World Cup venues, ensuring they
are adequately trained in the use of firearms and
crowd control while controlling demonstrations
A source of anger in Brazil ahead of the 2014
World Cup was over the displacing of communities
to build stadiums, which is unacceptable to Ruggie
without the agreement of locals.
"There are international rules that go along with
needing to adequately consult and compensate com-
munities," Ruggie said. "You don t just send in the
bulldozers to raze homes to the ground so you can
build a stadium."
The new regulations will also cover the working
practices of FIFA sponsors. Adidas, for example,
would have to prove that its workers operate in good
conditions and are adequately paid to make World
Ruggie said it is important for FIFA to "conduct
adequate due diligence to make sure that none of
the activities that they themselves control or are
otherwise involved in infringe upon the human
rights of individuals or harm communities that they
for World Cup
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