Sunday 18 April 2021

Dutch cancel online mission to Qatar due to World Cup worker deaths

Sigrid Kaag hands out a red card to Qatar. Photo:

Trade minister Sigrid Kaag has postponed a digital trade mission to Qatar because of concerns that thousands of workers have died building stadiums and accommodation for next year’s football World Cup, the AD reported on Tuesday.

The Guardian said last week that over 6,500 people from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died during the construction process.

Last week, Dutch MPs voted in favour of a motion stating that the king and prime minister should not attend the World Cup if the Netherlands qualifies for next year’s tournament.

And both Kaag and ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers said afterwards that the Netherlands should consider boycotting or withdrawing from the tournament altogether.

The online mission was scheduled from March 22 to April 1 and would have focused on water, energy and the food sector. Online visits and exchanges with the UAE and Oman will go ahead as scheduled.

Ministers agreed after last week’s vote to first talk to Qatar about the figures. A new date for the mission, which was officially postponed on Friday, has not been set.

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