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Murphy action call over the ugly side of beautiful game

Bill Shankly's maxim that football is more important than "a matter of life and death" has come true in Qatar where workers building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup "suffer squalid conditions and excessive hours", according to Labour's shadow international development secretary.

Jim Murphy will use his keynote speech to Scottish Labour Conference today to demand the Scottish Football Association speaks out on the "human rights abuses" behind the 2022 World Cup.

The call comes 10 days before the East Renfrewshire MP travels to Qatar to meet construction workers.

"Next week I will travel to Qatar to meet some of the construction workers from Nepal and India building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup," he is expected to say. "The treatment of these workers is the ugly secret of the beautiful game. Some are tricked into travelling thousands of miles under false pretences. Too many have their passports confiscated, work without pay, suffer squalid conditions, work excessive hours, and deal with staggering levels of debt.

"These abuses aren't one-offs - Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch have all made clear that these problems are pretty widespread.

"Bill Shankly was wrong when he said, 'Some people believe football is a matter of life and death - I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.'

"The World Cup must not be built on the backs of the forced labour and lost lives of thousands of working people."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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