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25th Sep 2022

Gary Neville publicly criticises Qatar’s living conditions for migrant workers

Callum Boyle

Neville visited the World Cup hosts in a new documentary

Gary Neville has publicly criticised the living conditions that migrant workers in Qatar have had to endure while preparing for the World Cup.

Neville visited the country as part of his upcoming documentary: ‘Gary Neville’s countdown to Qatar’, which will air on Sky Sports on Sunday night.

In the programme, the former England international displays visible shock at the conditions that workers helping to prepare the nation for it’s first-ever World Cup are living in.

“It’s a portakabin with four curtains (screening off sleeping areas) and two lockers on each side,” he says.

“The wealth in this country and that level of accommodation for people, with the sacrifice they are making. It’s just inequality like you would not believe. It’s staggering really. This is not a home.”

Gary Neville

To make matters worse, Neville is only being shown round accommodation that Qatari officials want him to see. Back in 2019, the Daily Mail reported on the Al-Sheehaniya base where they found a tiny room in which 10 people were crammed into with children’s bunks for beds.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International have also added that the true reality of what life is like for so many migrant workers isn’t near the stadiums, but on the outskirts of the cities.

Further on into his investigations, Neville was also left dismayed by the salaries workers earn after it was revealed that they would take home a salary of no more than $275 month – with most of that often sent to their families – leaving some with as little as $50 per month.

He added: “I find it uncomfortable because when I buy a bowl of pasta and a beer or coffee, that’s a week’s wages.”

One accommodation official is seen playing down Neville’s concerns, insisting that workers have the option to do overtime at weekends to earn extra money.

It comes after the pundit was recently criticised himself after hosting an episode of The Overlap from Qatar with ex-Manchester United teammate David Beckham.

The full-back has also previously supported the decision to award Qatar the tournament, saying: “Do we believe that on those sites, in front of Western project managers, workers are dying and they’re hiding it?

“Are we really saying that’s happening? I find that difficult to believe because I’ve got more faith in people.”

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