BBC apologises to Zaha Hadid over Qatar allegations

The BBC has issued a public apology over misleading comments made in a radio interview with Zaha Hadid. 

The broadcaster has also apologised privately to the architect following a conversation with presenter Sarah Montague on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme which suggested construction workers had died on her Qatar 2022 stadium project.

During the show on Thursday morning (24 September) Hadid - who eventually cut the interview short - was questioned about the working conditions in Qatar. Sarah Montague said: ‘One of your buildings is the Qatar stadium where there have been considerable problems, not least the number of deaths.’

Hadid, who launched a lawsuit for defamation against the New York Review of Books over the same allegations last year, responded: ‘There have not been any problems actually, I have to put you right, there has not been a single problem at the Qatar stadium.’

Montague continued: ‘But more than 1,200 migrant workers have died there’.

Hadid replied: ‘Absolutely not true. We sued somebody for writing that, and saying that, and it had to be withdrawn from the press. It is absolutely inaccurate.’

Hadid was then questioned about the ‘scrapping’ of her Tokyo 2020 stadium scheme at which point the London-based architect hung up and the interview ended.

The BBC has now said sorry for suggesting there had been any deaths on the al-Wakrah stadium project and posted an apology on the Radio 4 website.

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