The BBC has apologised to architect Zaha Hadid (pictured) after it raised allegations relating to the deaths of construction workers in Qatar during an interview on Radio 4’s Today programme.
Hadid was interviewed yesterday after winning an architecture award, but the conversation turned sour when the interviewer mentioned construction worker deaths on a World Cup venue that her practice had designed.
The BBC issued a statement saying: "The International Trade Union Confederation’s figure of 1,200 deaths, which was quoted on Thursday morning’s programme, refers to migrant workers in the whole of Qatar across several years, and not only to the construction sector, nor specifically to the main World Cup stadium sites.
"We are sorry we didn’t make this clear in the interview with Dame Zaha Hadid. The Qatari government says there have been no deaths on World Cup construction sites."
During the interview Hadid said: "There have not been any problems there, I have to put you right. There have been no deaths on our site whatsoever."
The Architects Journal reported that the broadcaster "apologised privately" to Hadid as well as making its public statement.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ statement about the al-Wakrah stadium project, said: "Since all works began at the site in 2013, the construction crews have completed more than 1.2 million working hours with no accidents causing lost time.
"The authorities in Qatar managing the al-Wakrah site operate the highest levels of workers’ health, safety and welfare."
Hadid was also questioned over her company’s scrapped design for Japan’s National Stadium, which was to have hosted the 2020 Olympic games.
When pushed on the subject Hadid said: "Let’s stop this conversation right now, I don’t want to carry on. Thank you very much."
The BBC has not commented about this issue.
Image: Zaha Hadid (Mary McCartney)