US senate to discuss Qatar corruption charges

16 July 2015

Commerce subcommittee to ask questions about awarding of 2022 Fifa World Cup

  • Hearing will discuss allegations against Qatar
  • Allegations include labourer exploitation and corruption
  • Amnesty will use hearing to push for closer monitoring of worker rights

The US Senate Commerce Committee is due to ask questions about corruption charges connected to the awarding of the 2022 Fifa World Cup to Qatar in a session on 16 July.

Members of the committee will look at the US relationship with Fifa, football’s governing body, according to senators who spoke to the US magazine National Journal.

Michael Hershman, who is the president and CEO of the US’ Fairfax Group and serves on Fifa’s independent governance committee, is due to be questioned at the hearing.

The hearing will also see senators discuss the possibility of the 2022 World Cup being rebid and awarded to another country.

“It shouldn’t be a hearing about why the US lost. It should be a hearing about what’s wrong with Fifa, and how we make sure that these issues never happen again,” said Hershman, who believes the tournament should be taken away from Qatar.

Allegations of labourer exploitation in Qatar will also be discussed by the committee.

Amnesty International’s advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Sunjeev Bery, will giving testimony on this issue at the hearing.

“Congress has an important opportunity to shine an ongoing light on the government of Qatar’s terrible labour policies,” he said ahead of the session.

“One approach would be for Congress to mandate a quarterly State Department report that tracks the on-the-ground reality of laborer exploitation in Qatar between now and the 2022 World Cup.”

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