“Juego Limpio” in the North America 2026 FIFA World Cup
BWI and its affiliate, the Confederación Internacional de Trabajadores (CIT of México), organised a multi-stakeholder forum called "Clean Games" in Mexico City on 5 May. The forum discussed challenges and priorities for decent work in Mexico surrounding the 2026 FIFA World Cup infrastructure projects and beyond. It was organised as part of BWI's Global Campaign for Decent Work Around Mega-Sporting Events. It created momentum for a continuation of the campaign in time for the global 2023 BWI Sports Campaign Handover Conference. Dubbed as "From FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to North America 2026,” the handover will be held on 10 May in Washington DC.
Participants representing trade unions, civil society organisations, football stakeholders and the local government had the chance to learn about BWI’s previous campaign experiences, from South Africa 2010 to Qatar 2022. Reflecting on the Mexican context, they shared expectations, context-specific challenges and calls for collective action to ensure a World Cup free from discrimination and exploitation.
Mexico passed a labour reform in 2019, which is projected to boost free and democratic trade union representation, density, and collective bargaining coverage. However, the construction labour market continues to be characterised by high levels of informality, temporary and dangerous jobs. These are frequently caused by low union density; largely covered by the so-called protective unions. The spotlight on Mexico due to the World Cup 2026 can be an effective lever for the advancement and execution of the said labour reform, especially in the construction sector. Labour migration, women workers, and the environment were also discussed, and will be a priority throughout the campaign actions.
Saul Mendez, BWI Deputy President said: “Workers, with their labour, are at the centre of this collective journey towards and beyond the 2026 World Cup. Through this campaign, we will continue our work to ensure that international solidarity translates into concrete actions to answer their needs and to promote their rights, so that those who are in the frontline of the struggle are never alone.”
The forum was held in the Senate of the Republic of Mexico. It was hosted by Senator Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, president of CIT México and member of BWI World Council.