Liverpool have reportedly rejected the five-star hotel they were originally allocated for the Club World Cup due to ethical concerns.
Jurgen Klopp’s side secured their qualification for the tournament in Qatar, which takes place in December, by beating Premier League rivals Tottenham in June’s Champions League final.
Although the FIFA event will give the Reds the chance to secure their second piece of the silverware for the season, adding to August’s UEFA Super Cup success, the upcoming trip to the Middle East has also raised problems.
It is common for organisations such as FIFA and UEFA to book accommodation soon after destinations for competitions have been decided, before allocating them to teams taking part.
According to The Athletic , the Premier League club were offered a place at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski by world football’s governing body, but turned down the location after background checks uncovered a number of worrying details.
A Guardian investigation from October 2018 revealed that the five-star institution, located on the artificial island of Pearl-Qatar, was employing migrant workers who were operating in breach of labour laws and being paid below the minimum wage.
As part of the allegations, it was reported that security guards were earning around just £8 per day, despite working 12-hour shifts in temperatures as high as 45C.
There were also claims that some staff had worked for three or four months without a day off and were handed significant fines for sleeping on the job.
Although Kempinski said at the time that they took the allegations “very seriously” and opened an investigation into the accusations, The Athletic claims they formed just part of the research that Liverpool considered as part of their planning for Qatar.
And the publication reports that the Reds have chosen to move to an alternative location that did not present such concerns and have already made their decision aware to both FIFA and the local authorities.
The move is set to increase scrutiny surrounding the country amid long-standing allegations of migrant worker abuse, but it is understood that both organisations have been “responsive” to the Merseyside club’s requests.
A large proportion of the tourism and leisure sector in Qatar falls outside of the control of the local authorities and many of the hotels including the Kempinski are controlled by global companies.
Qatar is also currently preparing to host the World Cup in 2022, with the decision to hold the tournament in the Middle-Eastern country receiving significant criticism.
Liverpool will join the 2019 Club World Cup during the semi-final stage, which is due to take place on December 18 before the final three days later.
The club’s involvement in the competition comes in the middle of England’s busy Christmas period and has resulted in changes to their schedule.
The Reds’ league game against West Ham has already been pushed back from December 21 and the club’s Carabao Cup place is also under threat, with the quarter-final tie with Aston Villa also originally scheduled to take place while they are in Qatar.