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Dutch union threatens FIFA with legal action over Qatar

Qatar Looks To 2022 FIFA World Cup

DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 23: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created using a variable planed lens.) A worker uses a wheelbarrow to move cinder blocks on a construction site in the budding new financial district on October 23, 2011 in Doha, Qatar. Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup football competition and is slated to tackle a variety of infrastructure projects, including the construction of new stadiums. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) A Dutch labor union is threatening FIFA with legal action if it does not step in to halt what the union has branded “modern slavery” in the construction of venues for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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Dutch union FNV says it wants “FIFA to accept its responsibility and end exploitation of workers” in stadium construction ahead of the tournament.

The gas-rich emirate is expected to spend tens of billions of dollars before the November-December 2022 tournament kicks off, preparing eight new and renovated stadiums and related projects such as transport links and accommodation.

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Qatar is relying heavily on workers from south Asia who are tied to the “kafala” system of sponsorship common in Gulf nations, which critics say exposes migrants to exploitation.