Qatar World Cup

More than a game: ‘Even if Ireland were playing, I’d have no interest in this World Cup. None’

As the 2022 World Cup edges closer, an information war is playing out: Qatari authorities claim progress has been made on workers’ rights, while critics say conditions remain poor and any changes are purely cosmetic

Workers toil at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, one of the 2022 World Cup venues: ahead of the tournament, questions persist over Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers. Picture: Getty

It was when they played the video that Håvard Melnæs really started to feel sick.

Already, the previous week had been traumatic – he’d spent most of it inside Qatari labour camps, talking to the migrant workers in charge of building an infrastructure for the country ahead of the 2022 World Cup. A journalist at Josimar, the Norwegian football magazine, he had seen some appalling things and heard some dark stories.

But the emotions thrown ...