Human Rights Watch have called for FIFA to consider human rights issues before awarding countries future World Cups ©Getty Images

The next FIFA President must make sure future World Cup host countries do not have fundamental issues with human rights, campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned today.

Following the sensational developments yesterday, where seven FIFA officials were arrested on charges including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, HRW’S director of global iniatives Minky Worden has called for football’s governing body to end human rights abuses.

As well as the corruption allegations which have led to a Federal Investigation by the United States Department of Justice, FIFA have also been accused of turning a blind eye to the appalling living and working conditions facing migrant workers in Qatar.

Workers are allegedly expected to live in squalid housing with limited toilet facilities and appalling cooking amenities, and it is claimed they are often not paid their full amount and are forced to hand over their passports on arrival so they cannot leave the country.

This led opposition group New FIFA Now to call for sponsors to speak out, and they claim big name global brands who attach their name to FIFA should “accept responsibility” for their hypocrisy concerning the conditions in which workers are living in Qatar.

Yesterday saw 14 FIFA officials indicted for charges including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering
Yesterday saw 14 FIFA officials indicted for charges including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering following an investigation organised by the US Justice Department ©Getty Images

“The next FIFA President needs to deal directly with crises - including human rights abuses and corruption - that are undermining the foundations of football’s management,” Worden said.

“When countries seek the right to host World Cups, they should also be expected to play by the rules.

“Instead of allowing double standards for abusive or discriminatory hosts, FIFA needs to use its immense power to put an end to human rights violations in the name of sport.

“If the new FIFA President fails to implement human rights reforms ahead of the next World Cups, there surely will be further abuses.

“We all love to watch the World Cup, but sports fans don’t want to sit in a stadium built by exploited, cheated, and abused workers - or worse, a facility that cost lives to construct.”

Current President Sepp Blatter is due to go up against Jordanian Football Association President Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein at the election at FIFA’S Congress tomorrow, although following the arrests and indictments of some of the game’s most high-ranking officials, there have been calls for it to be postponed.

Blatter’s tenure in FIFA’s top seat has been plagued with accusations of various misdemeanours, and in April, Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA), made up of several sporting organisations as well as HRW, sent a questionnaire to the FIFA Presidential candidates, asking specific questions about abuses linked to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“The arrests have spotlighted FIFA’s unaccountable system, but there should also be new scrutiny of the conditions for a vast army of migrant laborers who are building massive new infrastructure to host the World Cup,” Worden added., another campaign group, have today set up a petition to get Blatter sacked from his role and it can be viewed here.

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