The Workers Cup


When FIFA selected Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, the petroleum-rich country used its vast and wealthy resources to begin constructing state-of-the-art stadiums and facilities utilizing millions of migrant workers. The Workers Cup follows a group of these men—from India, Kenya, Nepal, and Ghana—who, stuck in isolated camps, working arduous hours for unlivable wages, eagerly escape into a corporate-sponsored “workers welfare” soccer tournament of their own. While the tournament amounts to little more than a marketing ploy for those at the top, the laborers embrace the rare opportunity to let loose, compete, and prove themselves bona fide soccer champions.

Adam Sobel’s stirring and keenly observed documentary juxtaposes the freshly installed stadiums where the workers compete with the squalid and cramped corridors they return to at night. With an empathetic lens, Sobel showcases the collective willpower and humanity of men who refuse to allow trying circumstances sink their one shot at winning a tournament in the very stadiums the workers of Qatar sacrificed so much to construct.

YEAR 2017


COUNTRY United Kingdom

RUN TIME 92 min

LANGUAGE English and Nepali/Malayalam/Twi/Ga/Hindi/Arabic

SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

COMPANY The Workers Cup




Executive Producers
Sound Recording
Color Grading
Sound Design
Associate Producer

Artist Bio

Adam Sobel

Adam is a filmmaker who grew up in Arkansas, spent the past five years in Qatar, and recently relocated to Chicago. He has produced television and journalism around the Middle East for outlets including The Guardian, CNN, and ITN. Sport’s role in society is key to Adam’s work. In 2013, he directed a series on Mount Everest following the first Saudi Arabian woman to reach the top. The Workers Cup is his feature film debut.