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Expert Submission filed with FIFA regarding Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the 2034 World Cup


An expert submission has been filed with FIFA at its Headquarters in Zurich concerning FIFA’s obligations to scrutinise Saudi Arabia’s human rights record during its bid to host the 2034 World Cup in accordance with FIFA’s rules and policies.

It has been prepared by a team of international human rights experts: Prof Mark Pieth (Founder of Basel Institute on Governance, Basel), Stefan Wehrenberg (Attorney at Law, Zurich), and Rodney Dixon KC. Prof Pieth previously chaired the Independent Governance Committee overseeing the reform process of FIFA. 

FIFA adopted a Human Rights Policy in 2017 to ensure that fundamental human rights are not being violated by those nations hosing its events. The submission accordingly highlights certain minimum human rights requirements that Saudi Arabia must at least meet in order for FIFA to consider its bid this year. These requirements are founded on universally accepted international human rights instruments, many of which have been ratified by Saudi Arabia. They include that Saudi Arabia must immediately release all political prisoners and those who are arbitrarily detained, treat all prisoners in accordance with internationally recognised human rights standards; appoint an independent judiciary; and improve the protection of women’s rights through measures such as criminalising marital rape, and ensuring adequate protection from domestic violence. The submission requests that FIFA should address these minimum requirements as part of its review of the bid with the final decision on the host country expected by the end of this year. Rodney Dixon KC was assisted by Anisa Kassamali.

It has been widely reported on in the media including here: 



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