For me, no football agency has right to intervene in any country’s affairs, even in order to protect labours or workers.
This is simply because the rules and regulations are entirely up to any country and such issues don’t fall within the jurisdictions of these football-related agencies.
I am saying that after reading dozens of reports talking about kafala System in Qatar and in the Gulf states in general.
Qatar witnesses a real sporting renaissance and built-up a big momentum and legacy over the past decade.
Some agencies wanted Qatar to abolish the Kafala System rule. I don’t know if Qatar wants to do so or not, this is again up to the country policy makers, but I am writing now because I have an immediate solution that would make the anti-Kafala System parties smile!!.
In fact, here is a case and a point.. A German newspaper carried an interview with Helmut Spann, a gentleman who is one of the big names in the global sports business and is now the Executive Director of Doha-based International Center for Sport Security (ICSS).
Spann, who was earlier the head of security panel in the DFB, said it all on behalf of all foreigners living in Qatar who know better than others that all critics against Qatar regarding labour issues are sort of blackmail.
** See complete interview in the German newspaper
Anyway, Helmut told to DIE WELT newspaper in a telephone interview from Brussels last week that he has no problem with the (Exit Permit) or the (Kafala System) as he is holding an annual exit permit. He explained that 80% of the Qatar’s populations are foreigners and that Qatar authorities have every right to regulate the labour market the way they see fit.
The German was of high critic of his compatriot Michael Sommer, Chairman of the German Trade Union Federation (DGB). Span told the newspaper that Sommer is just looking for a media show.
The ICSS official told the German newspaper that the construction workers issue in Qatar is exaggerated and that he does not see any labour abuse in this country. He went on to say that the Qatari labour law inspires the Western standards. This law, he said, ensures labour’s safety and does not let labours work in the heat.
Now, Helmut’s statements are over.. and I got an idea!!!.
My idea is: Anyone who receives an offer to work in Qatar, he/she can negotiate an item in his employment contract to have a yearly exit permit to leave the country anytime.
Here is the Qatari labour law is very flexible, as it gives employers the discretion to issue a yearly exit permit to their employees.
Then there will be no talk about the Kafala System which is a sovereign issue.
If anyone, player or coach or any other professional wants to work in Qatar, then he can negotiate this point, otherwise he can find himself another job in another country!.
LIFE IS SO SIMPLE AND NO ONE CAN KEEP TALKING ABOUT THE KAFALA SYSTEM ANYMORE.
By the way, I am exptriate in Qatar, travelling much and never have a problem with the (Exit Permit).
Thanks Mr. Helmut Spann.
Abdelaziz Abuhamar, is an Egyptian journalist - you can follow him on Twitter @Aabuhamar