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Indian worker dies after leaving Qatar World Cup venue

Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Stadium photo taken on 24th August 2014 [Kashif Pathan/Flickr]
Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Stadium photo taken on 24 August, 2014 [Kashif Pathan/Flickr]

An Indian man working on a Qatar World Cup stadium died of a heart attack this month in an incident the tournament’s organisers today said was not due to his working conditions.

Carpenter Jagdesh Kumar, 54, fell unconscious on 4 May about half an hour after leaving Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium, according to a relative. The stadium is part of a sporting complex that Qatar will unveil tomorrow as its first fully refurbished 2022 World Cup venue.

Kumar died in hospital of a cardiac arrest. Three other Indians employed on World Cup sites have died of heart attacks in the last 18 months, according to a 2016 report by Qatar’s World Cup organising body, the Supreme Committee for Legacy and Delivery.

Read: Qatar says three workers die on army building site

The Supreme Committee said in an emailed statement that findings showed Kumar’s death was due to natural causes.

Conditions for workers from India, Nepal and Bangladesh powering a $200 billion infrastructure upgrade for the World Cup have come under scrutiny from rights groups, who say the migrants live in squalor and work without proper access to water and shelter from the sun.

The Gulf Arab Kingdom says it is implementing labour reforms and last year hired a British consulting firm to assess working conditions on stadiums in an effort to improve transparency.

“We are deeply saddened that one of our workers recently passed away while off-duty. Our sympathies are with his family at this time,” said the Supreme Committee statement.

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