Gary Neville laments ‘AWESOME’ living conditions for World Cup workers in Qatar after seeing tiny Portakabins while touring accommodation… as he hits out at ‘inequality like you wouldn’t believe’
- Gary Neville has criticized the living conditions of workers at the Qatar World Cup
- He said workers live in ‘portacabins with four curtains’ in a new Sky documentary
- The former England man admitted he was also concerned about workers’ wages
- Neville had previously questioned reports about conditions in Qatar
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
Gary Neville shows visible shock at the accommodation for World Cup workers as he is shown around official accommodation for a documentary to be screened tonight.
Neville says: ‘It’s a portacabin with four curtains (screening off sleeping areas) and two cupboards on each side. The wealth of this country and the level of housing for people, with the sacrifice they make. It’s just inequality like you wouldn’t believe. It’s really overwhelming. This is not a home.’
Although Neville is being shown around accommodation facilities that the World Cup Supreme Committee wants him to see, the Mail on Sunday has reported far more squalid quarters. At Al-Sheehaniya in 2019, we found a stinking room where ten Indian men were crammed in, with children’s bunks for beds.
England supporters heading to Qatar are set for a different experience to life at home this winter
Gary Neville was shown around accommodation facilities in a new Sky Sports documentary
Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International insist that the true picture of the lives of workers behind Qatar’s rampant construction efforts in 2022 should not be found near the stadiums, ‘where visiting journalists seek evidence’, but outside the city.
Neville expresses serious concern about the workers’ wages of $275 a month, reduced to $55 a month after they send much of it home to families. He tells the documentary makers: ‘I find it uncomfortable because when I buy a bowl of pasta and a beer or coffee, it’s a week’s salary.
‘If it was my son, my daughter, my brother, I wouldn’t want them to be in this position. The difference is one of the biggest gaps you will ever see and there is no reason for it because this is one of the richest countries in the world.’
A housing official dismissed her concerns, insisting workers can do overtime if they want, earning time and a quarter on weekdays and time and a half on weekends.
Soulless metal buildings are advertised as portacabins for fans who want to stay in Qatar
Al Thawadi admits to Neville that there will be discrimination if gay couples kiss in public during the tournament.
When Neville asks if this will be a problem for Qatar, Al Thawadi replies: ‘It’s important to highlight first whether it’s a gay couple or something else. Public displays of affection are not part of our culture.’
Pressed on whether couples will be asked to stop: Al Thawadi says: ‘Yes.’
Neville had previously played down the human rights issues in Qatar, questioning reports suggesting workers were dying due to the conditions.
After backing Qatar’s controversial bid to host this year’s World Cup, he said in an earlier documentary: ‘Do we believe that workers are dying in these places in front of Western project managers and they are hiding it?
‘Are we really saying it’s happening? I find it hard to believe that, because I have gained more faith in people.’
Neville has visited Qatar on more than one occasion ahead of the World Cup this winter
Al Thawadi said in the original documentary that since 2020 only three workers had died from work-related causes, adding: ‘The figure of 4,000 deaths is inaccurate.’
Afterwards, Mr Neville said in a voiceover: ‘There is a real battle to find out what the real number is. But… we can’t disprove the number three. And we certainly cannot prove the figure of 4,000.’
Last year, a Guardian analysis suggested that 6,500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since 2010, when it was chosen to host the tournament.
Construction is still taking place with the start of the tournament now just two months away
The former England defender twice declined the opportunity to condemn Qatar’s treatment of women, gays and migrants when asked by the Mail on Sunday.
He now appears to have changed his tune with the competition less than two months away.
Countdown to Qatar, by Buzz 16 productions, will be shown on Sunday at 9.30pm on Sky Sports Premier League.