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Qatari Official Says Between 400 and 500 Migrant Workers Died in World Cup Projects

A giant inflatable copy of the trophy is displayed prior to the start of the World Cup group A soccer match between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
A giant inflatable copy of the trophy is displayed prior to the start of the World Cup group A soccer match between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

A Qatari official leading the country’s World Cup says that between 400 and 500 migrant workers died in connection with tournament projects, far higher than the government’s previous counts but still well below some projections. 

“The estimate is about 400. Between 400 and 500. I don’t have the exact number. That’s something that’s being discussed,” Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary-general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, told journalist Piers Morgan on TalkTV this week.

Morgan pressed al-Thawadi in the matter, saying some would argue the death toll is too big a price to pay.

“One death is a death too many, plain and simple,” al-Thawadi said.

The official insisted that health and safety standards on the country’s World Cup sites are “most definitely” improving each year but admitted that “improvements have to happen.” 

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