England train with migrant workers who built Qatar World Cup stadiums

England stars train with migrant workers who built Qatar World Cup stadiums before inviting 19 of them to watch their opening game against Iran

  • England’s World Cup hopefuls invited migrant workers to train with them after arriving at camp in Qatar 
  • Captain Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Harry Maguire and others took part in passing and shooting drills
  • Manager Gareth Southgate also joined in, going for a stint in goal during an impromptu penalty shootout 
  • 19 of the workers were handed tickets to watch England’s opening game against Iran on November 21

England’s World Cup hopefuls had a kick-about with migrants workers who helped build the stadiums in Qatar today, as players thanked some of the world’s poorest for their contribution to the tournament.

Qatar is facing serious allegations about its use of migrant labour to prepare for the tournament, including that workers were paid just pence per day to toil in sweltering temperatures that put their lives at risk.

As a show of thanks, England manager Gareth Southgate took to the Al Wakrah training complex pitch along with captain Harry Kane and the likes of Bukayo Saka, Harry Maguire, Raheem Sterling and James Maddison to meet some of the builders.

Nineteen of them were also handed tickets to England’s first game against Iran which will take place on Monday, as their World Cup campaign gets underway.

Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka takes part in a training session with migrants workers at the Al Wakrah training complex in Qatar as the England team prepare to get their World Cup campaign underway

Manager Gareth Southgate takes a turn in goal during an impromptu penalty shootout with migrant workers at the England training camp in Al-Wakrah, Qatar

Captain Harry Kane smiles as he takes part in training drills with migrant workers at the Qatar World Cup, with the session held at the request of the team

England’s Harry Maguire saves a shot during a penalty shootout with Qatar migrant workers ahead of the World Cup

England captain Harry Kane and Harry Maguire shake hands with migrant workers who were invited to take part in a training session with the team after they arrived in Qatar

The England squad pose for a team photo with migrant workers during a training session in Qatar on Thursday night

England manager Gareth Southgate signs shirts for the Workers’ Welfare ‘Team 360’ players during a training session in Qatar

England’s Harry Kane poses for a photo with a local volunteer during the training event on Thursday evening in Qatar

Players from the Workers’ Welfare ‘Team 360’ with signed shirts and tickets to the match against Iran smile for the cameras

Manager Gareth Southgate speaks to migrant football players and the England team during the training session in Qatar

England’s Football Association is trying to lobby FIFA – the tournament organising body – into creating a permanent centre for the immigrant workforce in Qatar, which typically numbers in the millions.

The FA is also pushing FIFA to create a compensation fund for families who have lost loved ones on World Cup construction sites.

Officially, authorities in Doha say just three workers died building the stadiums – but human rights groups think the true figure is at least in the hundreds, if not the thousands.

Southgate and his players spoke to the workers after the session, with FA chief executive Mark Bullingham also asking them questions about their experiences of building the eight stadiums and other infrastructure being used during the tournament.

At one point, the workers took part in a penalty shootout with Southgate – whose infamous missed penalty at Euro 96 saw England knocked out of the tournament – going in goal.

An FA spokesperson said: ‘We said in September we wanted to invite some migrant workers into camp to meet the players and thank them for their role in helping deliver the tournament.’



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England manager Gareth Southgate poses for photographs with the Workers’ Welfare ‘Team 360’ players in Qatar

England’s Bukayo Saka plays with the Workers’ Welfare ‘Team 360’ players during a Community Engagement event at the Al Wakrah Sports Club Stadium

Conor Gallagher signs shirts for the Workers’ Welfare ‘Team 360’ players during a training session in Qatar late Thursday

England manager Gareth Southgate with Harry Maguire, Conor Gallagher, Raheem Sterling and James Maddison in Qatar

England’s Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope pose for photographs during the late-night training session in Qatar on Thursday

England team holds a welcome event with local volunteers at the Al Wakrah training complex in Qatar, late Thursday

England manager Gareth Southgate applauds the efforts of the migrant workers during a training session in Al-Wakrah, Qatar

Marcus Rashford poses for photographs during an event at the Al Wakrah Sports Club Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar

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