Borussia Dortmund fans raised a banner reading ‘Boycott Qatar 2022’ ahead of their Champions League tie with Manchester City at Signal Iunda Park.
With only weeks to go until the tournament, the list of dissenting voices against this year’s World Cup continues to grow with Dortmund fans voicing their discontent over the event in a very public way.
On a day when veteran LGBT activist Peter Tatchell organized what he said was the first such protest in the Gulf state, supporters of the German club echoed his sentiments.
Tatchell had claimed that he had been arrested by Qatari authorities, but a statement was issued claiming it was “false” and criticizing his “deliberate intent to provoke negative responses” as “irresponsible and unacceptable”.
Several German clubs are known for their strong activism on social and moral issues.
The protests from Dortmund supporters come after criticism of the tournament continued to grow as the kick-off date approached.
Borussia Dortmund supporters raise a banner ahead of the Champions League tie with Manchester City.
Denmark, which will compete in the tournament, has chosen to express its concerns about the country’s human rights record through its kits.
The Dane’s kit manufacturers, Hummel, issued a statement alongside the release of their uniforms for the tournament detailing why they were in block colors with the nation’s crest also in the same colour.
“The color of mourning,” Hummel said in an Instagram post. “The perfect color for Denmark’s third jersey for this year’s World Cup.”
“While we support the Danish national team at all times, this should not be confused with supporting a tournament that has cost the lives of thousands of people,” the company said, they added.
Peter Tatchell said he was arrested in Qatar after organizing what he claimed was the country’s first LGBT protest.
“We wish to make a statement about Qatar’s human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers who have built the country’s World Cup stadiums.”
Meanwhile, several French cities said they would not set up the usual fan parks for the tournament in protest at the treatment of migrant workers.
Paris, Lille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Marseille are among those that will not install the screens.
Qatar denied being arrested and said it was spreading false information
“It is impossible for us to ignore the many alarms from NGOs about the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers,” Strasbourg Mayor Jeanne Barseghian told 20 Minutes.
“Strasbourg, the capital of Europe and the seat of the European Court of Human Rights, cannot turn a blind eye to human rights that are violated to this extent.”
England’s protest pick for the tournament will take shape through Harry Kane, the nation’s captain, who will wear a rainbow-colored armband to every game he plays in the World Cup.
The campaign, titled OneLove, targets discrimination and will see Kane, along with eight other national captains including Gareth Bale with Wales, wear the armband. England, however, has faced criticism for this with some campaigners saying it does not go far enough.
Nations managers including Louis van Gaal and Hansi Flick have criticized the tournament.
‘Was it correct to award the World Cup to Qatar? These questions should have been answered much sooner, with a no!’ Flick said.
Amnesty says the general public view is that sponsors support calls for the Qatari government and FIFA to provide reparations.
“The fact is that in Qatar when it comes to human rights, when it comes to sustainability, a lot of things are not right, it’s obvious.”
Van Gaal, who will manage the Netherlands in their first World Cup tournament since 2014, said: “Of course I am supporting the compensation funds (for victims of labor abuse in the construction of the World Cup stadiums in Qatar) and I think that should happen especially when you consider the billions, I mean millions that FIFA profits from the tournament.
“If they are smart enough to host the World Cup there, they have to put up with everything that comes after that decision.”
Human rights groups have sought to illustrate how poorly the treatment of migrant workers has been since the country won the tournament in 2010.
They have asked the sponsors to implore FIFA to contribute to the reparations paid to the migrant workers and their families affected in the last 12 years.
Several French cities will not have fan parks where fans can watch their team try to retain their 2018 prize.
Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch, said amid demands for redress for migrant workers and their families: “Brands buy the rights to sponsor the World Cup because they want to be associated with joy, competition justice and spectacular human achievement. on the field of play, not the rampant wage theft and worker deaths that made the World Cup possible.
“With only two months until the first ball is kicked, sponsors should use their considerable influence to pressure FIFA and Qatar to live up to their human rights responsibilities to these workers.”
“Corporate sponsors have paid FIFA more than $1 billion to be associated with the 2022 World Cup and they will not want their brands tarnished by human rights abuses,” said Stephen Cockburn, director of economic justice and Amnesty International Social.
“It is clear what the public and their clients want them to do: stand up for the rights of workers in Qatar and demand compensation for every worker who has suffered to make this tournament happen.”
Louis Van Gaal insisted that FIFA must face the consequences by criticizing its ‘clever’ decision to award Qatar the tournament.
Amnesty added its voice to such calls.
“In addition to the sponsors of the World Cup, they should also use their influence and ask FIFA and the Qatari authorities to publicly commit to a compensation fund to remedy the serious abuses against migrant workers that made the World Cup possible. World,” his statement read.
“FIFA should also support and contribute financially to initiatives designed to help and support migrant workers, such as the Migrant Workers Center recommended by Building and Wood Workers International.”