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Denmark football association post list of guidelines ahead of Qatar trip


The Danish football federation has posted a set of guidelines regarding their trip to Qatar for next year’s World Cup, addressing the human rights issues plaguing the host country.

Discourse over Qatar’s human rights record has flowed for years, even pre-dating their awarding of the 2022 tournament more than a decade ago – but has come to a head more recently as both fans and team members struggle to juxtapose the world’s greatest sporting event with Qatar’s deplorable human rights record.

Denmark, who became just the second team to qualify for the tournament after a rampant qualification campaign, will not participate in commercial activities unless they are “activist and part of the critical dialogue.”

In addition, commercial partners on team gear will be replaced by human rights messages, will minimise travel and look to continue critical dialogue regarding the rights of migrant workers.

The working conditions for these workers have been widely scrutinised, including in a piece in The Times last weekend, which detailed the abhorrent labour conditions in staggering detail.

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More than 6,500 workers, mostly from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, have died in Qatar since 2010. Many others have developed serious conditions such as chronic kidney failure due to 12-18 hour shifts with minimal water, every single day.

“Amnesty International welcomes the Danish football union’s bold stand regarding human rights and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” Amnesty International Australia’s Nikita White told Wide World of Sports.

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The non-profit organisation has been vocally opposed to the World Cup in Qatar as well as other clashes of human rights and football – most recently the takeover of Newcastle United.

“We call on everyone involved in the World Cup including players, coaches and supporters to use their platforms to draw attention to the issues. The big money and glamour of the football shouldn’t come at the expense of human rights,” White said.

“With the eyes of the world on Qatar and only one year until the World Cup there is an opportunity to pressure Qatar to make a real difference for migrant workers.”

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The tournament will begin in just over a year, starting on November 21 and finishing a week before Christmas.

So far, 11 other qualifiers have joined the hosts and Denmark in punching their tickets; Germany, Brazil, France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Argentina.

The Socceroos now face an uphill battle to qualify, dropping out of the automatic qualfication spots in their group following three games without a win.

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