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FIFA must show that it respects human rights: Football World Body

FIFA must show that it respects human rights and brandish the threat of withdrawing a World Cup to prove it means business, an independent review of football’s world body said.

The report by former UN special representative on human rights and business John Ruggie is likely to intensify pressure on 2022 hosts Qatar, widely condemned for its treatment of migrant labourers.

FIFA has also come under fire for its stance on human rights in other host states, including Russia, which will hold football’s biggest tournament in 2018.

“Where FIFA is unable to reduce severe human rights impacts by using its leverage, it should consider suspending or terminating the relationship,” Ruggie’s report said.

“Like any other enterprise, FIFA needs to be able to terminate a relationship if peoples’ human rights are abused,” said Ruggie, a Harvard University human rights professor, told AFP.

“This means writing it into its agreements for World Cup tournaments from the start.”

The report was commissioned by FIFA in December to assess its human rights efforts, ahead of selecting a host for the 2026 tournament.

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