The number of worker deaths related to the 2022 Qatar World Cup is estimated to be "between 400 and 500," a Qatari official confirmed in an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday (November 29).
Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary-general of Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, announced the total for the first time, which was a drastically higher total than previously announcements made by Doha, Qatar's capital city.
During the interview, Morgan asked al-Thawadi, “What is the honest, realistic total do you think of migrant workers who died from – as a result of work they’re doing for the World Cup in totality?”
“The estimate is around 400, between 400 and 500,” al-Thawadi said. “I don’t have the exact number. That’s something that’s been discussed.”
Reports from the Supreme Committee dating back to 2014 and concluding in 2021 had previously estimated the total number of deaths at 40, which included 37 from what Qataris described as non-work incidents.
A separate report also listed a worker as having died from COVID-19 during the pandemic.
The comment threatens to reinvigorate criticism from human rights groups that has dated back to the announcement that Qatar would host this year's World Cup in 2010 given the country's long standing human rights records and oppression of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the poor treatment of the migrant workers who built the venues featured during the upcoming tournament, NBC News reports.