World Cup security staff suffer in the silence of Qatar’s broken promises | Pete Pattisson

Low-wage migrant workers who made the tournament possible now find themselves broke and homeless or even deported or imprisoned

Six months on from that most memorable of World Cup finals, Shakir Ullah has been forgotten. Ullah, from Pakistan, spent the tournament employed as a security guard but has now been in jail in Qatar for almost five months. He was detained in late January as he tried to resolve a dispute over unpaid wages on behalf of hundreds of his co-workers. The men were deployed to guard key sites during the World Cup but were suddenly laid off in the days after the final, with about three months on their contracts.

The abrupt termination – in breach of Qatar’s labour law – left them homeless, jobless and in many cases, deep in debt. On that day, about 250 of them were detained and later deported. Ullah and two others were arrested and remain in prison. He has allegedly been sentenced to six months and fined 10,000 rials (£2,170); more than he made in the three months he worked at the World Cup. His appeal against the sentence was recently rejected. One source told the Observer that if he fails to pay the fine, his detention may be extended.

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