Amnesty International has urged English footballers to consider following in the footsteps of other international teams and to protest the human rights situation of World Cup hosts, Qatar.
The players from Germany, Norway and the Netherlands took a stand during the latest round of international matches, spoke out at press conferences, stood arm in arm and wore t-shirts with bold slogans.
A report released last month by the Guardian, revealed how 6,500 migrant workers have died since Qatar was awarded World Cup host status.
Germany wore powerful sweaters that spoke ‘HUMAN RIGHTS’ in their own protest
Norway’s t-shirts read “next?” after several nations joined them to protest the issue
And as reported by Sporstmail Last week, the competition will bring in £ 3 billion in revenue to FIFA, which hosts the tournament, but migrant workers in the Middle East will be paid just £ 8.30 a day to work on stadiums and infrastructure.
According to activists, workers sometimes go without pay for months or are not paid at all and live in dire conditions.
Amnesty wrote to FIFA earlier this month urging the governing body to do more to protect workers’ rights ahead of the 2022 tournament.
Now, Amnesty International has asked England players to consider adding their voices to the growing protest leading up to their World Cup qualifier against Poland at Wembley tomorrow.
Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, told Sportsmail: ‘English players will of course be guided by their own conscience, but if they eventually follow the lead of German, Dutch and Norwegian players, we would be delighted to do so.
In line with other countries, the Dutch players wore t-shirts with the text ‘Football supports change’
Workers have been building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup for ten years now
Harry Kane and the England squad can read the numerous media reports of exploited migrant workers in Qatar and quickly see that there is a very serious problem.
Migrant workers in Qatar often pay huge illegal recruiting costs to even get their job, and once in the country they can become trapped in forced labor situations, with excessive working hours, under or late payment, and eventually robbed. of their freedom of movement.
Without the two million migrants who built the stadiums, roads and wider infrastructure, Qatar simply wouldn’t be hosting this World Cup and we should see a legacy of real, sustainable labor reform when it’s all over.
Qatar World Cup will be one of the most compact ever with all stadiums within a 35 mile radius
“It is really important that FIFA, the FA and individual teams and players use their influence to continue pushing the authorities of Qatar for the promised labor reforms.
“Football likes to see itself as a force for the good in the world, and with Qatar 2022 there is a real chance for elite football to make its mark.”
The Netherlands were the last team to protest Qatar’s human rights past before their World Cup qualifier against Latvia on Saturday.
The Norwegian players stood arm in arm during the national anthem on Wednesday evening and wore t-shirts with the words: ‘Human rights – on and off the field’.
England captain Harry Kane has said the national team will consider a protest in Qatar
Amnesty International has called on FIFA to ensure that Qatar implements promised labor reforms. Pictured is a bunk bed in accommodation for migrant workers in Qatar
Later in the week, before their draw against Iceland, Germany showed their own message. The team wore black tops, each with a corresponding letter.
Then, after standing in line, with their arms also interconnected, the powerful statement wrote ‘HUMAN RIGHTS’.
England captain Harry Kane has said the team will consider a protest.
The England captain said on Saturday: ‘You saw the teams do it a few days ago, so I think it would be a good conversation to have between the players.
And from there I’m sure there will be an outcome. But I don’t see anything against it.
“ As we’ve done with taking the knee, I think it’s important to have everyone’s opinion, everyone in a room discussing what they feel and what they want to do, and then we can make a decision as a group. ”
Since 2010, FIFA’s decision to award Qatar next year’s FIFA World Cup has been protested
Since 2017, Qatar has enacted several reforms to benefit migrant workers, including the removal of the Kalafa system, which tied workers to their employer, meaning they could not leave their jobs regardless of the abuse they had undergone.
And in 2019, FIFA developed a sustainability strategy for the tournament, setting out “ambitious plans to maximize the tournament’s contribution to people’s well-being and economic development.”
But Amnesty and other rights groups insist that reforms have not been properly implemented and that “thousands of migrant workers are still being exploited.”
FIFA used its annual report earlier this month to greet progress on workers’ rights.
FIFA President Gianni Infatino hailed progress on workers’ rights in Qatar this year
Since the 2022 FIFA World Cup was awarded to Qatar, there has been a great collective effort from the local authorities, our partner the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy [a government body] and the International Labor Organization to bring about positive change.
“And we are very pleased to see that this has translated into concrete major advances in workers’ rights,” said Gianni Infantino, FIFA President.
FIFA relies on the government of Qatar to safeguard workers ‘rights and the report quotes Mahmoud Qutub, the executive director of workers’ welfare on the Supreme Committee.
“We are driven by a dedication to ensuring that the people who build our stadiums and venues are treated with the utmost dignity and respect.” said Qutub. “Tangible changes in labor standards for our projects are now serving as benchmarks in Qatar and the region.”
The run-up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been marred by the death of labor migrants