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Qatar refuses compensation fund for World Cup migrants workers

Qatar has rejected calls for a compensation fund for migrant workers killed or injured during World Cup preparations.

The country’s Labour Minister Ali bin Samikh Al Marri called it a “publicity stunt”.

“This call for a duplicative FIFA-led compensation campaign is a publicity stunt,” he said in an exclusive interview with AFP.

“Our door is open. We have dealt with and resolved a lot of cases.”

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have led demands for football governing body FIFA and Qatar to create a fund for workers matching the $440m World Cup prize money.

Human rights groups accuse Qatar of under-reporting deaths.

The government strongly disputes reports that thousands have died in construction site accidents or from heat-related illnesses in the country’s searing summer temperatures.

FIFA has said there is “ongoing dialogue” about the fund, but in the government’s first public comment, Mr Marri said the proposal was unworkable.

“Every death is a tragedy,” Mr Marri said, adding: “There is no criteria to establish these funds.

“Where are the victims, do you have names of the victims, how can you get these numbers?” he asked.

Some international trade union leaders have also said a new fund would be too complicated to set up and manage.