Former Fulham defender Abdes Ouaddoh has given a powerful interview to today’s Times on the eve of the Qatar World Cup. The Moroccan international, who endured a horrific two years in Qatar when playing for the club now known as Duhail, says the Qatari state tried to break him psychologically but believes boycotting the tournament would be pointless.

Speaking to James Gheerbrant in today’s newspaper, the eloquent centre half tells how he was forced to move from Duhail to Qatar SC against his wishes despite having signed a three-year contract. After a ‘mediocre’ season, Qatar SC wanted to terminate his deal and pay him no compensation, which Ouaddoh refused, and that’s when the problems started. He was denied his wages for six weeks, had his car seized and his family removed from their home, in what he believes was an attempt to stop him training.

“When you cut off a man’s electricity, when you confiscate her car, so that he can no longer go to work, and when you stop paying his salary, it is because you want to destroy a human being. I believe that respect for work, respect for the contracts that you sign, is fundamentally a matter of respect for the dignity of man. It’s a question of human rights. He who presides over a work contract, presides over a human relationship, and that applies the world over. Without those contractual relationships, we are left with a drift into anarchy. So when these people began to behave in this manner, that was something I could not tolerate.”

Ouaddoh recognises that he is one of the lucky ones – eventually able to leave after months of waiting for Qatar SC to provide an exit visa.

“If a top-level sportsman with no financial issues can be subjected to that kind of maltreatment, you can well imagine the tragedy that could befall the workers who built the stadiums for the World Cup – but only only time. We could also talk about the women who worked in the houses. These women, who came from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, India, experienced unspeakable things.”

Despite being part of an global protest movement against the decision to award Qatar the World Cup, Ouaddoh doesn’t believe a boycott now would solve anything. He has a simpler solution:

“What I would like is for each captain, at the end of each interview, to utter a thought for the people who built the stadium in which they are playing, with simplicity and solemnity, without getting bogged down in black T-shirts and armbands and gestures.”

You can hear more from Abdes Ouaddoh during Thursday evening’s Fulham Supporters’ Trust AGM, where he will speak about his Fulham career and Qatar as well as answering questions from the Trust’s members. You can join the Trust via their website.