A British man has died while working on a stadium for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The 40-year-old’s death occurred on Thursday at the Khalifa International Stadium and was confirmed by organisers on Friday morning.
It’s unclear how he died and a probe into the tragedy has been launched.
The Gulf state made the claim about the numbers - one of the most controversial aspects of the small Middle Eastern country being awarded the tournament - after a Washington Post graphic showing “the human toll of Fifa’s corruption” went viral.
The Post’s article claimed 1,200 migrant workers had died in Qatar since it was awarded the World Cup in December 2010, and projected 4,000 would die by the time the games took place.
But the Qatari Government responded that the graphic was “completely untrue” and said the figures included deaths from all causes such as “cardiovascular disease” that was not related to their work.
The Post article was amended to “reflect the fact that figures include total migrant worker deaths in Qatar, not just World Cup-related deaths”.
In a rebuttal, the Qatari government said the article had done “enormous damage has been done to Qatar’s image and reputation”.
It said: “Readers around the world have now been led to believe that thousands of migrant workers in Qatar have perished, or will perish, building the facilities for World Cup 2022 – a claim that has absolutely no basis in fact.”
Nicholas McGeehan, Qatar researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW), told HuffPost UK he had no reason to doubt the Qatari government’s claims no one had died while building the stadia, but said this claim did not tell the full picture.
He said: “I’ve no reason to doubt that figure, stadium construction has only begun in earnest on one site to my knowledge.
“What Qatar has is a very problematic pattern of deaths of young men in its construction sector - much of which is geared towards the 2022 tournament - and it has ignored calls for an investigation into those deaths.”