Adjudication without Frontiers
Edited by Horatia Muir Watt, Lucia Bíziková, Agatha Brandão de Oliveira and Diego P. Fernandez Arroyo
Chapter 7: Non-state authority: FIFA
The tragic deaths of hundreds of construction workers (allegedly) in the course of intensive building work of the stadiums for FIFA’s 2022 Qatar World Cup are no doubt an inauspicious starting point for the analysis of the new spaces of normative interaction that are now generally considered to be a feature of the global legal order. The latter offers a complex body of different transnational rules that coexist and conflict, beyond the remit of nation-States – whose collective ‘loss of control’ is by no means accidental or inevitable. The global labour market is perhaps the best example of a new paradigm of non-state (if not private) normativity. While domestic markets become increasingly flexible – take the new trend of zero-hour contracts practised by companies like Uber or Deliveroo – a new arena emerges in which multinational corporations control various industries all over the globe in accordance with their own corporate codes and soft law. In 2010, the Gulf State of Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Following this, Qatar started carrying out multi-billion construction projects for numerous rail lines, roads, a new international airport, the world’s largest green-field project and, of course, several stadiums that will host the World Cup matches. Qatar relies largely on migrant workers from South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal or Bangladesh) who according to some estimates comprise more than 90% of the country’s workforce. They are employed under the controversial kafala system, that puts employees under near total control of their employers.
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