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Football cards tell stories of migrant workers who died while building for Qatar World Cup

From Norwegian soccer players wearing QR codes to inform viewers about human rights violations, to brands distancing themselves from the event, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been mired in controversy since FIFA picked the Persian Gulf nation to host the high-profile soccer event.

While Qatar acknowledges the deaths of a few dozen workers, organizations like Amnesty International estimate the actual number is likely to be in the thousands. Blankspot, a Swedish platform for investigative journalism, is lifting those workers out of statistic anonymity in its Cards of Qatar campaign.

Following the familiar design of collectible player cards, each shares the face and story of a migrant worker who went off to work in Qatar and never came home to their family in Nepal, Bangladesh or India. Blankenspot's journalists traveled to those countries to hear directly from the wives, children and families that were left behind.

Blankenspot is sending Cards of Qatar to FIFA, brands sponsoring the World Cup, and other major stakeholders. It's asking them how they plan to ensure that workers won't be treated as disposable labor units when building for future events.

Cards of Qatar will continue to add cards and stories until the World Cup kicks off in November 2022. Blankspot produced the campaign in partnership with football app Forza Football — which has 3 million monthly active users — and creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors.