Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Dr. Ramu Kharel reflects on South Asian Migrant Workers in the Op-Ed

December 8, 2022 Sapan News

Assistant Professor at Brown University, Dr. Ramu Kharel, recently had an opinion piece published by the Southasia Peace Action Network. Kharel is an emergency medicine specialist focusing on public health, tropical diseases, and improving emergency care in rural settings. 

December 5, 2022: Football is a religion in my native country, Nepal. I love the game. I want Messi to win. This year, however, the joy I once found in this great game is haunted by the ghosts of an untold number of voiceless workers. These deaths became personal to me after my uncle died of a ‘cardiac arrest’ while working as an unskilled labourer in Qatar. While I know my personal boycott doesn’t mean much, I hope my reasoning and story will provide some perspective to those who are wondering why there is so much controversy around FIFA.

In 2022, was there really a need for the World Cup to rely on egregiously unsafe bonded labour? By placing profit over justice and decency, FIFA has undermined the positive values that give football its global appeal.  Read the full article.