Contractors preparing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will return $25 million of illegal recruitment fees charged to some 37,000 workers involved in preparation for the tournament, organisers said Tuesday.

Recruitment fees are among the issues that have faced the tens of thousands of migrant workers lured to Qatar to build the core infrastructure for the soccer showpiece.

The Supreme Committee, which is organising the tournament, tweeted: “160 contractors engaged on #Qatar2022 projects have agreed to reimburse $25m in recruitment fees to more than 37,000 workers over the next three years,”

The Supreme Committee had previously said that more than 12,000 workers employed directly on World Cup projects would share reimbursements of 52 million riyals ($14 million) for being forced to pay illegal recruitment fees to come to Qatar.

Workers in Qatar have also complained of low wages, delays in being paid, unsafe working conditions, and the high cost of living.

But Doha has adopted reforms including a minimum wage, salary protection and the partial abolition of exit visas under which workers needed a boss’s permission to leave the country.

A $200 monthly minimum wage was among a package of labour changes announced by Qatar in October 2017, following global scrutiny and criticism.

Many of the migrant labourers in Qatar, who number around two million, come from South Asia and are attracted by the promise of work and tax-free wages.

Source: AFP