World Cups should be taken from human rights abusers - FIFA report

A Harvard professor hired by FIFA to advise on improvements to the organisation's human rights approach has advised that World Cups should be taken away from countries who fail to end systematic abuses.

John Ruggie, who previously worked with the UN, has produced a large report -- on request from FIFA -- in response to criticism of the 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar and the nation's human rights record.

"Where FIFA is unable to reduce severe human rights impacts by using its leverage, it should consider suspending or terminating the relationship," concluded the professor.

Those recommendations relate not just to host nations, but any entity involved with FIFA -- including sponsors.

Recently appointed FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: "I would like to thank Prof. Ruggie for his work in producing this report, which, together with FIFA's own analysis and ongoing work, will guide the way forward.

"This is an ongoing process and of course challenges remain, but FIFA is committed to playing its part in ensuring respect for human rights and to being a leader among international sports organisations in this important area."

FIFA's latest statutes include a commitment to protect "all internationally recognized human rights," which along with the findings of Ruggie's report places pressure on the organisation to investigate the preparations for the Qatar World Cup.