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Players who decide to join Qatari clubs have been advised by FIFPro to take appropriate measures to protect themselves, if operating as a foreign worker under the restraints of the kafala sponsorship system, which FIFPro sees as a violation of basic human rights.

This applies to all migrant workers in Qatar, as FIFPro reiterates its ever-present concerns about the treatment of those employed in the country's construction sector, among others, who are building World Cup stadia and related infrastructure.

The recent high-profile case involving French-Algerian player Zahir Belounis highlighted the need for change and FIFPro is part of ongoing talks with local football authorities to improve conditions in Qatar, which includes a recommendation to abolish the kafala sponsorship system in its application to footballers. Belounis said he had been unable to obtain an exit visa which has to be applied for by his employers under the kafala system.

A FIFPro delegation visited Qatar, in November, to address the need to have contracts respected in line with international standards. FIFPro also raised the prospect of establishing a local players' association in Qatar. FIFPro found, after meeting representatives from the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, the Qatari Football Association and the Qatar Stars League, a clear understanding on all sides that the standards must be raised to include minimum contract requirements and dispute resolution.


For more information and media enquiries, please contact:
FIFPro Communications Department
+31 235546970 or +31 613 645 946