By ROB HARRIS
AP Global Soccer Writer
FILE – In this Dec. 15, 2019, file photo, a worker cleans above air conditioning vents at Qatar Education Stadium, an open cooled stadium with a 45,350-seat capacity, and one of the 2022 World Cup stadiums, in Doha, Qatar. Addressing airborne threats like the novel coronavirus is a particular challenge, especially when they can stick around for hours wherever they might land. The good news is many venues already use high-efficiency filtration that can capture most virus particles and keep them from spreading. The bad news is even the world’s most effective HVAC systems can’t do anything about the germs fans might touch on a railing or catch from a cough down the row.
Organizers of the 2022 World Cup have become the latest Qatari state entity to make staff redundant.
The World Cup organizing committee did not directly cite the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic in a statement announcing the job losses. But secretary general Hassan Al Thawadi recently spoke of his concerns about the looming global recession.
Qatar Airways, a FIFA sponsor, and Doha-based beIN Sports, which owns broadcast rights to World Cup matches, have also cut jobs recently in response to COVID-19 halting travel and shutting sports events.
Qatar has opened three of the eight stadiums that will be used in the tournament across November and December 2022 which means fewer staff overseeing building infrastructure are required.
With 85% of infrastructure completed, World Cup organizers say the “workforce needs to transition … as new skills are required for the next phase of Qatar’s tournament delivery.”
The number of people losing their jobs was not stated.
“The (organizing committee) has recently undertaken an internal exercise to assess the current workforce and engaged in a budget management and operational efficiency exercise as part of this transition,” World Cup organizers said in a statement. "As a result, we have taken the decision to make a number of positions redundant.
"All due salary and end of service benefits will be paid to those leaving, in line with Qatari labor laws.
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