SPORT
26/11/2013 10:20 GMT

FifPro To Hold 'Urgent Talks' Over Players' Rights Abuse Claims In Qatar

Zahir Belounis' case has again highlighted Qatar's rights issues
Zahir Belounis' case has again highlighted Qatar's rights issues

FIFPro, the international footballers' union, is sending a delegation to Qatar to seek "urgent talks" over claims players' rights are being abused.

Qatar's "kafala" employment system has come in for scrutiny following the case of French-Algerian player Zahir Belounis, who is under contract at Al-Jaish until 2015 but has been denied the chance to leave the country because he is suing the club in order to recover unpaid salary.

The country's work visa system which means if a foreign player is in dispute with their club they can be prevented from leaving the country.

And FIFPro is also "seriously concerned" by allegations of human rights violations in the construction of World Cup 2022 stadia and related infrastructure

"FIFPro heads to Qatar on a four-day visit to seek urgent talks with the country's football authorities and organisers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup," a FifPro statement said.

"(FIFPro) will not sit idly by as the rights of the players are being abused and is working to resolve the deplorable situation which sees French-Algerian footballer Zahir Belounis unable to leave Qatar.

"FIFPro will meet with Zahir Belounis and implore local authorities to hear his cry for help.

"To prevent future misery for professional footballers, FIFPro will target the application of the kafala system with Qatari authorities and football's world governing body FIFA.

"A delegation led by FIFPro board member Mads Oland, together with representatives of the International Trade Union Confederation, will carry the message that, while FIFPro's primary concern must be the players, we will not overlook the tragedy which is currently unfolding in Qatar.

"FIFPro is seriously concerned by allegations of human rights violations in the construction of World Cup stadia and related infrastructure."