FIFA urged to act following the arrest of deputy communications director for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – after he challenged statement from his bosses about migrant worker protests
- FIFA have been urged to act after the arrest of a 2022 World Cup media chief
- Abdullah Ibhais was arrested and taken into custody in Doha on Monday
- Ibhais challenged what his bosses wanted to say on World Cup migrant workers
- The deputy communications director’s family say his arrest is silencing criticism
The family of a former Qatar World Cup media chief urged FIFA to act on Wednesday after he was arrested and taken into custody.
Abdullah Ibhais’s family say his arrest in Doha, in the early hours of Monday, was a result of him challenging a statement that his bosses wanted to put out about World Cup migrant workers who were protesting about going months without pay in 2019.
Ibhais, who was deputy communications director for the World Cup, leaked WhatsApp messages which seemed to show his employers trying to distance themselves from a strike involving 5,000 migrant workers.
FIFA have been told to act after Qatar 2022 deputy communications director Abdullah Ibhais was arrested for challenging his bosses
FIFA have been urged to speak out about Ibhais’ attempts to shut down World Cup criticism
Ibhais’s bosses wanted him to claim unpaid workers were not part of the World Cup. His own messages showed he resisted this.
His family on Wednesday said that his arrest was ‘an attempt to silence the voices of criticism’. They said FIFA’s refusal to speak out about Ibhais encouraged attempts to shut down criticism. Qatar did not comment on why Ibhais, a Jordanian, had been arrested.
He was suspended from his communications role when accused of trying to benefit fraudulently from a tender process two years ago.
The next edition of the World Cup (above) will take place in Qatar next winter
He was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for fraud, but was on bail pending the result of an appeal when he was taken back into custody on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Danish national team have announced a series of protests at the World Cup. The team will replace their kit sponsors with ‘critical messages’ of Qatar’s regime to raise awareness of human rights abuses.
The Danish football assocation will also limit the number of people who travel to the tournament to highlight that they are only there for football.