Fifa welcomes Qatar reforms

The 2022 World Cup host nation has set in place new measures to improve the conditions of migrant workers, described as a "significant step in the right direction" by Sepp Blatter
New labour reforms in Qatar have been welcomed by Fifa, with president Sepp Blatter calling the developments a “significant step” in the troubled build-up to the 2022 World Cup finals.

The Qatari Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, in conjuction with the Ministry of the Interior, announced on Wednesday that reforms would take place to improve the welfare of migrant workers.

Over 1000 workers are believed to have died in the country since the beginning of 2012, with 500 from India alone having been killed according to official figures from Indian Embassy in Doha.

The issues have led to widespread speculation about the country’s fitness to host the 2022 tournament, but news of the changes have been met with approval from the world game’s governing body.

“This announcement is a significant step in the right direction for sustainable change in the workers’ welfare standards in Qatar,” Blatter said in a Fifa statement.

“We look forward to seeing the implementation of these concrete actions over the next months.

“We will continue our close co-operation with Qatari authorities as well as dialogue with all key stakeholders.”

Blatter and Fifa Executive Committee member Dr Theo Zwanziger were due to fly Qatar for a fact-finding trip this month, but have now postponed the trip after the news of the new reforms.

The pair will now visit the nation after the completion of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, allowing time for the new measures to have an effect before their latest review of the situation.