Authorities in Qatar have evicted thousands of migrant workers from apartment blocks in the capital city of Doha ahead of the football World Cup scheduled to start from November 20, reported AFP.

The apartment blocks where the workers lived are in the same area where football fans visiting the country will stay during the World Cup, according to Reuters. Municipal workers and security guards moved into nearly 12 buildings on the night of October 28 to clear the area.

The migrant workers mainly comprise Asian and African workers, who had to seek shelter outside one of their former accommodations. Authorities gave just two hours to 1,200 workers in a building in Doha’s Al Mansoura district on Wednesday to empty their accommodations.

The eviction drive was carried out under a 2010 Qatari law which prohibits “workers’ camps within family residential areas” – a designation encompassing most of central Doha, reported Reuters.

The Qatari government said that the buildings were uninhabitable and claimed that proper notice had been given to the workers, reported AFP. The government also claimed that an alternative “safe and appropriate accommodation” had been provided to all those who were evicted.

Qatar has faced criticism for its treatment of migrant workers who have built the Al Bayt stadium in Doha among other infrastructure in the country.

Many Indian workers who migrated to the Gulf said that their contracts do not offer an insurance and compensation in case of death or accident, reported The Indian Express. Families of Indian migrant workers who died in Qatar while working for companies linked to the tournament said that they have received no compensation from the employers, reported the newspaper.

More than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the football World Cup ten years ago, reported The Guardian. The report said that an average of 12 migrant workers from the five south Asian countries had died each week since December 2010 when Qatar was announced as the next host of the football world cup.