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Reports of ‘forced labour’ ahead of 2022 World Cup

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One of the most controversial football world cups is months away and there are reports of forced labour among workers

Amnesty International found 34 employees from eight private companies were involved in forced labour in Qatar.

The report was published just days after the official draw for the tournament was announced.

It found the migrant workers are working for months, or in some cases, years on end without a day off.

“Despite the progress Qatar has made in recent years, our research suggests that abuses in the private security sectorwhich will be increasingly in demand during the World Cup – remain systematic and structural.”

Stephen Cockburn from Amnesty International

Most of the workers say their employers refused to respect the weekly rest day, which is legislated in Qatar.

Amnesty says the workers have been employed by private companies. Together, they provide services for sites including football stadiums, and some other infrastructure projects.

As part of the report, Amnesty interviewed several current or former security guards. The human rights organisation says it “indicates that these abuses are systemic”.

Qatari law restricts working hours to 60-hours a week, including overtime.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

Sport

Update on Brittney Griner’s Moscow appeal

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A Moscow regional court has officially set an appeal date of October 25 for American basketball star Brittney Griner

Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for smuggling drugs into the country, arrested with less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s International Airport back in February.

Details about the appeal hearing have not been released,

It is expected Griner’s team will argue she did not know the cannabis oil was illegal in Russia and that she was only carrying a small amount for personal use.

There have also been rumours that the U.S. is negotiating a prisoner swap with Russia, but it is not clear if Griner is part of those negotiations.

The U.S. has not confirmed or denied the rumours.

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Sport

Vigil held for the 125 people killed in stadium disaster

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Vigil held for the 125 people killed in Indonesia’s stadium disaster, as the nation mourns

Vigil held for the 125 people have been killed in a crush and riot at a soccer match in Indonesia.

Authorities believe it is one of the world’s worst stadium disasters. Now, the nation stops to mourn the lives that have been lost.

The tragedy unfolded in Malang, in the province of East Java. It followed home side Arema FC loosing 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya.

East Java police chief Nico Afinta said frustrated Arema supporters invaded the pitch.

Officers responded by firing tear gas in an attempt to control the situation, triggering the crush and cases of suffocation.

Afinta claimed officers had been attacked and cars damaged. He said the crush happened when fans fled for an exit gate.

300 were injured, including 22-year-old Muhammad Rian Dwicahyono who said many friends had lost their lives “because of officers who dehumanized us”.

The head of one of the hospitals in the area treating patients told Metro TV that some of the victims had sustained brain injuries and that the fatalities included a five-year-old child.

On Sunday, Malang residents gathered outside the stadium to lay flowers.

As investigations continue, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has ordered the Football Association of Indonesia to suspend all games in the top league.

World soccer’s governing body FIFA has requested a report on the incident from Indonesia’s PSSI soccer association.

FIFA’s safety regulations say no firearms or “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police.

East Java police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of such regulations.

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Crypto.com scraps $495m deal with UEFA Champions League

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Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has cancelled a five-year sponsorship deal worth $495million with the UEFA Champions League

Major cryptocurrency exchange platform Crypto.com has officially scrapped its deal with the UEFA Champions League.

The in-principle deal would have seen the crypto company take over as the sponsor from Russian state-owned energy company, Gazprom.

Gazprom’s contract was cancelled in March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Crypto.com scrapped the deal because of regulatory concerns in the U.K, France and Italy.

The crypto exchange has previously been involved in sports advertising over the past year, with sponsorship into Formula One and the naming rights deal for the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

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