Blatter hails proposed labor law changes in Qatar

With the mistreatment of migrant workers increasingly being held under the microscope, FIFA and the country are announcing changes.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has hailed proposed labor law reforms in Qatar as a "significant step in the right direction".

Officials have vowed to scrap controversial elements of the country's current regulations, which have come under fire since Qatar was awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

But Blatter hopes Wednesday's announcement will signal a willingness to improve working conditions.

"This announcement is a significant step in the right direction for sustainable change in the workers' welfare standards in Qatar," he said. "We look forward to seeing the implementation of these concrete actions over the next months.

"We will continue our close cooperation with Qatari authorities as well as dialogue with all key stakeholders."

"FIFA welcomes the labour law reforms announced today by Qatar’s Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs as well as the Ministry of the Interior at a media briefing in Doha," read a FIFA statement. "Given these new developments in the 2022 FIFA World Cup host country, FIFA President Blatter and FIFA Executive Committee member Dr Theo Zwanziger decided to postpone a scheduled trip in mid-May to until after the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

"This allows for time to gain a better understanding of the measures that were presented today. The announced reforms confirm the expressed commitment of the country’s authorities to improve the welfare of migrant workers and to use the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup as a catalyst for positive social change."