Migrant workers key to Russia’s smooth-running World Cup

first_imgTwo municipal workers stand ready to clean an area ahead of the Denmark-France World Cup match at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on Tuesday, June 26. AP MOSCOW – Behind the veneer of Russia’s smooth-running World Cup are legions of migrant workers from Central Asia, who built the stadiums and keep them running, staff concession stands, and clean up after fans who revel through city streets.They are among millions of migrants who perform menial jobs across Russia, and face routine police harassment and ethnic profiling. They are accused of depressing wages and plotting terrorism, yet unlike in Europe or the US, no one talks of building a border wall to keep them out. That’s because they form a pillar of the economy and aid Vladimir Putin’s geopolitical strategy – and without them, Russia might not have managed to host a World Cup at all.As world-class soccer unfolds in their midst, orange-vested migrant workers take selfies with fans and steal glimpses of a match on a coworker’s cellphone, or watch replays on a dormitory TV after a 12-hour shift. You won’t hear them complain.“This country took us in, and gives us work,” said Bobur Ulashov, who left his village in southern Uzbekistan five years ago in search of a job. Today, the 37-year-old sweeps rubbish into his dented mental dustpan and plucks beer cups out of bushes at Moscow’s official World Cup fan zone. He has little interaction with the visiting crowds – “they see the orange vest and keep walking,” he shrugs. He doesn’t hesitate when asked who he’s rooting for. “Russia. Who else?”Russia provides work to people like Ulashov, who sends $100-200 home every month to his 6-year-old son, wife, parents and siblings. And people like Ulashov provided Russia cheap labor to prepare for the World Cup.“Migrants made up the main workforce” in the construction of stadiums and transport infrastructure for the tournament, said Valery Solovei, a professor at Moscow’s MGIMO foreign policy institute and an expert on immigration and nationalism. “Without migrant workers, Russia couldn’t have built all these things so quickly.”Despite promises by soccer’s governing body FIFA, the work wasn’t always safe, or humane.Building Workers International says 21 people died on World Cup construction sites. Human Rights Watch documented hundreds of complaints from World Cup workers, finding that many had no written contract of any kind, and some were working in temperatures of minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 13 Fahrenheit) with one indoor break in a nine-hour shift.“Abuses included non-payment of wages, significant delays in paying wages, very unsafe working conditions in some sites, and also retaliation against workers who complained,” said Yulia Gorbunova of the group’s Moscow office.Russia’s World Cup organizing committee says it worked with FIFA on an inspection system to root out alleged labor violations, and FIFA said last year that it had seen a sharp fall in the “number of issues” at Russian construction sites after its inspections. Neither the Russian organizers nor FIFA provided figures or details on what they found, or said whether anyone was prosecuted.That’s a concern for Russia’s workers and for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where migrant workers perform nearly all menial labor and have few legal rights.Migrants staffing Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow’s 81,000-seat primary venue, insist their conditions are good – 30,000 rubles ($470) a month during the tournament, with one or two days off per week. But most didn’t want their full names published for fear their employers would punish them.Gafirjon Kurbonov isn’t afraid to talk. He helped lay asphalt in St. Petersburg as Russian cities cleaned up ahead of the World Cup, and now works as a registered taxi driver in Moscow. His wife and two small children have joined him, and he wants to settle here.“Business is good. There are so many foreign (fans),” he said in rapid-fire, Tajik-accented Russian. And after the World Cup is over? “There will always be work.”Even harder than obtaining working papers and a fair salary is battling discrimination. Security officers guarding the metro system systematically single out Central Asians to check their bags and documents, ignoring those with more Slavic features.Russian authorities have said identity and bag checks are part of overall security necessary to protect the country.When Russia sank into recession because of Western sanctions over the annexation of Crimea, Central Asians took blame for pushing down wages, inciting terrorism and petty crime.After a Kyrgyz taxi driver plowed into pedestrians near Red Square early in the World Cup, social networks buzzed with abusive comments about “guest workers” who turn to terrorism – even though Russian authorities insisted it was just an accident by a sleep-deprived driver.Central Asian migrant workers have been linked in the past to Islamic extremism, however. “Since they are feeling social pressure, they radicalize,” Solovei said. Discrimination “spawns a feeling of protest.”Yet when nationalist politicians campaign to impose visas on Central Asians, government officials balk, fearing that would cost Russia its influence in the strategic region. And the debate quickly dies down.Russia has proportionately more migrant workers than any country in Europe, Solovei said – some 6 million according to official statistics, 10 or 11 million according to unofficial estimates. Most come from the former Soviet republics of Central Asia – ancient Silk Road towns of Uzbekistan, impoverished valleys of Tajikistan on the Afghan border.Some settle in Russia and become a part of the fabric of multi-ethnic cities like Moscow. Others remain guest workers for the long term, returning home every year for weeks or months at a time – and supplying remittances that make up a substantial chunk of Central Asia’s national budgets.A Kyrgyz street sweeper named Gulnara showed off cell phone pictures of her young adult children back home, whom she hopes to see this summer. That helps her face the challenge of cleaning the mess left by soccer fans on historical streets near Red Square.At the St. Petersburg stadium, a maintenance worker waited shyly in a corridor as fans poured out of the first-round match between Russia and Egypt. Seeing the jubilant Russian faces, he guessed that the home team had won, but had to ask a passerby the score.Fixing tiles just about 10 meters from the stands, he had no idea what had transpired inside. (AP)last_img read more

Someone May Want to inform the Roughriders…

first_imgAll Activity Share this post By Pharos04, May 5, 2013 in Sports Logo News 2 Members thespleenenator Someone May Want to inform the Roughriders… 451 71 Stampman Forums Home Grey Cup 0 Members Delicate Genius 451 676 posts 10,482 posts Sign in to follow this   Bostonian AF Veteran 0 Location:College 1,576 posts Phoenix is a bangwagon town Posted May 5, 2013 Link to post Followers 0 Pharos04 Share this post Share on other sites Link to post Members 7,014 posts All Activity 96 1,146 It’s not a mistake. The pass allows access to the hospitality rooms of each participating team (i.e. Saskatchewan has “Riderville”, Hamilton’s is “TigerTown”, etc.). Each room promotes their city/culture and host parties during the week. The Schooners are fans from Atlantic Canada that attend the Grey Cup every year and have their own room.The reason Edmonton isn’t listed is because the “Spirit of Edmonton” room is always free (though due to space limitations in Regina, they haven’t been able to secure a place yet). Montreal might not be listed because they aren’t going to be a host (they didn’t in 2009) or can’t find space either.Why is the Edmonton room free? Share on other sites Schooners personalgame thespleenenator Posted August 19, 2013 It’s not a mistake. The pass allows access to the hospitality rooms of each participating team (i.e. Saskatchewan has “Riderville”, Hamilton’s is “TigerTown”, etc.). Each room promotes their city/culture and host parties during the week. The Schooners are fans from Atlantic Canada that attend the Grey Cup every year and have their own room.The reason Edmonton isn’t listed is because the “Spirit of Edmonton” room is always free (though due to space limitations in Regina, they haven’t been able to secure a place yet). Montreal might not be listed because they aren’t going to be a host (they didn’t in 2009) or can’t find space either.Why is the Edmonton room free?I’m not sure of the exact reason but it has been that way since the first one in 1973. It’s just meant to be a big party/get-together for CFL fans, and not a moneymaker for those running it. Delicate Genius Go To Topic Listing Share this post Members Sodboy13 71 “Are you sure there’s seven teams, Bill? Because I keep coming up with six.””Did you remember to count the Riders?””Oh, right! There’s seven.” What the hell? How does that even happen? You only have to remember 8 teams! The NFL has 32 teams and it seems to be doing a better job at remembering they exist, or at least remembering which teams do and do not exist. 71 676 posts 7,014 posts Favourite Logos:Barcelona DragonsHartford WhalersUS Soccer RattlesnakeJoliet Slammers “J-Bird”NBA All-Star New Orleans Crawfish Share on other sites SportsLogos.Net 0 71 Sports Logo News Share on other sites Members 6 posts Location:College Banned 5,159 19,560 posts Posted May 5, 2013 Sign in to follow this   2 Share this post 451 SportsLogos.Net 28-9, Sweet 16? Yeah, I’ll take that. 2 ..or at least the organizers of this event that there is no CFL franchise known as the Atlantic Schooners…and that the Montreal Alouettes and Edmonton Eskimos are!found on http://101greycupfestival.ca/ Share this post Location:Effington Sports Logos Posted May 5, 2013 Recommended Posts CCSLC award winner Posted May 5, 2013 Sports Logos This topic is now closed to further replies. Alouettes 1 Link to post Share on other sites Link to post Followers 0 Someone May Want to inform the Roughriders… 71 1,146 Share this post Thanks for posting. By the way, I’m a spambot. Posted May 5, 2013 Sodboy13 451 Link to post 5,159 Stampman Members thespleenenator Forums Home Delicate Genius Share on other sites Posted May 5, 2013 451 It’s not a mistake. The pass allows access to the hospitality rooms of each participating team (i.e. Saskatchewan has “Riderville”, Hamilton’s is “TigerTown”, etc.). Each room promotes their city/culture and host parties during the week. The Schooners are fans from Atlantic Canada that attend the Grey Cup every year and have their own room.The reason Edmonton isn’t listed is because the “Spirit of Edmonton” room is always free (though due to space limitations in Regina, they haven’t been able to secure a place yet). Montreal might not be listed because they aren’t going to be a host (they didn’t in 2009) or can’t find space either.Saved me from typing all that out myself.Thanks, 71 Link to post 0 96 thespleenenator Pharos04 Share on other sites Link to post personalgame Sports Logo News Link to post 2 0 0 1,146 Share this post 5,159 96 Share on other sites It’s not a mistake. The pass allows access to the hospitality rooms of each participating team (i.e. Saskatchewan has “Riderville”, Hamilton’s is “TigerTown”, etc.). Each room promotes their city/culture and host parties during the week. The Schooners are fans from Atlantic Canada that attend the Grey Cup every year and have their own room.The reason Edmonton isn’t listed is because the “Spirit of Edmonton” room is always free (though due to space limitations in Regina, they haven’t been able to secure a place yet). Montreal might not be listed because they aren’t going to be a host (they didn’t in 2009) or can’t find space either. 28-9, Sweet 16? Yeah, I’ll take that. 451 Delicate Genius Share this post Location:Massachusetts Banned Posted August 19, 2013 CFL Someone May Want to inform the Roughriders…last_img read more

Modric, Mbappe And Others Win World Cup Awards

first_imgReal Madrid playmaker Luka Modric, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) star Kylian Mbappe as well as the duo of Thibaut Courtois and Harry Kane won various awards at the end of Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.Modric could not prevent his Croatia side from being beaten 4-2 by France in the final but he received some form of compensation after he was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament, also known as the Golden Ball.Mbappe was on target for France in the final and was named the Young Player of the tournament at the end of the game.Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois won the Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper after his contributions were pivotal as Belgium secured their best World Cup result, a third place finish.Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane scored six goals for the Three Lions of England to emerge as the highest goalscorer (Golden Boot recipient) at the tournament in Russia.Relatedlast_img read more