2 p.m. – The program of the day
The first two quarter-finals will be played today. Neymar’s Brazil take on Croatia at 4 p.m., the Netherlands take on Messi’s Argentina at 8 p.m. Faced with an aging Croatian team, in great difficulty against Japan in the previous round, the Seleção, which disposed of South Korea without incident in the round of 16 (4-1), is the clear favourite. It will be more difficult for the Argentinians against the young Dutch guard, who shone in his first four games, in particular the revelation Cody Gakpo, author of 3 goals. The Netherlands have the best record in the first four games with three wins and a draw, tied with England.
AT QATARI TIME
Every day, “l’Obs” tells you about the daily life and the strangeness of the World Cup in Qatar, which began on November 20. This World Cup of all the controversies – environmental cost, flouted human rights, bereaved construction sites, suspicions of corruption – takes place in an unprecedented atmosphere. Hour by hour, follow behind the scenes of the competition of all excesses and find our reports and decryptions in our special file.
1 p.m. – Glory of Moroccan football, Khairi believes in it
His brace against Portugal at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico had sent Morocco to the second round: Abderrazak Khairi believes in a new exploit of the Atlas Lions against the band to Cristiano Ronaldo, Saturday in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar. “Faced with Portugal, Morocco is capable of creating a surprise”predicts the former Moroccan international, the main architect of the surprise victory against Portugal (3-1) thirty-six years ago.
“The mission will not be easy but I believe in it”assures Khairi, 60, in a telephone interview with AFP in Rabat, from Qatar, where he works as a consultant to an Arab channel. “We won the love of the public and above all we paved the way for greater representation of African nations in the World Cup”he welcomes. “There is nothing impossible in football, that’s the magic of this sport. Today, the Moroccan selection proves it.. Last determining factor, the supporters: “Playing in an Arab country with a sustained presence of the Moroccan public is a blessing”he acknowledges.
Many Moroccan fans went to Qatar after the qualification.
In the head to “DD”: “How to counter the English wave”
11 a.m. – “Difficult to draw attention” to working conditions in Qatar, for the leader of the global unions
The new secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Luca Visentini gives an interview to AFP: a few hours before the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Italian judges “very difficult to draw public attention to working conditions in the country” during the competition.
“Attention is completely focused on the games. The most important thing is to make sure that once the World Cup is over, we continue to put pressure on the authorities and employers in Qatar.”.
A unique advance in the Gulf, the system of “kafala”which made employees quasi-properties of their employer, “has been legally abolished but there are still huge enforcement problems” of this measure, according to Luca Visentini. Concretely, there remains “many cases of unpaid wages and huge obstacles for workers who want to change employers”explains the general secretary of the ITUC, elected in November at the head of the organization which brings together 332 unions from 163 countries.
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“There are lots of problems in Russia (where the 2018 World Cup took place) and in South Africa (2010)”but “nothing that reaches the same scale as in Qatar” where “people died” and where forms “slavery at work” took place, he said.
10 a.m. – Qatar says it is investigating the death of a worker
Qatari authorities said Thursday they were investigating the death of a worker in a work accident at Saudi Arabia’s base camp during the 2022 World Cup, after reports from the sports news site “The Athletic”. “If the investigation concludes that the security protocols were not respected, the company exposes itself to legal action and heavy financial penalties”the government said in a statement.
According to “The Athletic”, the victim is a Filipino in his forties who fell from a forklift while repairing the lights in a parking lot. Multiple sources said he was not wearing a safety harness.
“The Philippine Embassy in Doha is still investigating this matter”, the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs told AFP, saying it was unable to give more details immediately. In a statement, Fifa said “deeply saddened by this tragedy”. “We have contacted the local authorities to ask for more details”the organization added in a statement.