These 'Cards of Qatar' tell the story of dead or injured World Cup stadium construction workers

Trading deck project from Blankspot and Forsman & Bodenfors aims to put faces to statistics

Published On
Jul 08, 2022

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From late November to mid-December, Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup. The organization has come under fire for choosing to host its annual soccer tournament in the country, where homosexuality is illegal. The upcoming event has continued to be mired in controversy during the process of constructing the 2022 World Cup stadium and related structures, where migrant construction workers have been injured or killed due to unsafe work conditions.

A campaign from investigative journalism outlet Blankspot and agency Forsman & Bodenfors endeavors to make sure those killed to build the tournament aren’t lost amongst its hype and fandom.

“Cards of Qatar” looks like a classic trading card game with a glossy deck of portrait collectibles. But rather than depicting the soccer stars that will compete, each card shows the face of a worker killed either erecting Qatar’s stadium or on related projects since the country was named the host of this year's tournament, plus their story on the card’s back.

“My son worked as a construction worker in that country and fell from a 10 story building,” says a narrator in the campaign’s accompanying video. “He never said anything about his job, not even what he did,” adds another voice, “He only repeated his mantra, ‘Do not come here.’”

According to the video, Blankspot intends to distribute the 33-card deck to Qatar politicians and FIFA officials. The campaign’s website allows viewers to read each card as well as longform articles featuring interviews with players, politicians and workers’ organizations. 

“To present these stories with dignity, we focused on a high level of craftsmanship and designed a handmade box of textile fiber that holds 33 cards,” said Staffan Lamm, art director at Forsman & Bodenfors, in a statement. “The graphics were inspired by the World Cup 2022 to create a visual connection as if it was the official cards.”

The campaign also features an extension within soccer scorecard app Forza Football. Users will have the ability to share the “Cards of Qatar” stories and prompt other users to do so as well. The campaign will post cards on social channels every day until the World Cup and continue to expand the “Cards of Qatar” deck with more stories.

“‘Cards of Qatar’ is a way to both spread the stories to a large audience while putting more pressure on FIFA and other organizations that organize sporting events,” said Patrik Arnesson, founder of Forza Football, in a statement. “This is 2022. Major championships should not be organized by countries that do not respect fundamental human rights.”


Correction: “Cards of Qatar” tracks workers that have died since the country was named host of this year’s soccer tournament. A previous version of this story inferred thousands of migrant workers had died during construction of Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.


Jul 08, 2022
Client :
Client :
Forza Football
Agency :
Forsman & Bodenfors

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