Australia’s men’s soccer team has released a three-minute video highlighting Qatar’s human rights record, including its treatment of foreign workers and restrictions on the LGBTQI+ community, and calling for real reforms as the legacy of the World Cup organization in the Gulf country .
In the video, 16 players each read one or two sentences from a statement. Football Australia also released a separate statement saying: “The tournament has been associated with suffering for some migrant workers and their families and this cannot be ignored.” The gas-rich emirate has been criticized over the past decade for its treatment of migrant workers, mostly from South Asia, who were required to build tens of billions of dollars worth of stadiums, subway lines, roads and hotels.
The Socceroos are one of 32 teams competing on the November 20-Dec. 18 World Cup and have added their vote to a growing list of players from competing nations highlighting the issues.
“It is not easy to tackle these problems. And we don’t have all the answers,” the Australian players said in the video released Thursday. “We stand behind FIFPro, the Building and Wood Workers International and the International Trade Union Confederation, who want to anchor reforms and leave a lasting legacy. to settle in Qatar, which should include the establishment of a migrant resource center, an effective remedy for those deprived of their rights, and the decriminalization of all same-sex relations.
“These are the basic rights that should be granted to everyone and that will ensure continued progress in Qatar. . . (and) a legacy that goes far beyond the final whistle of the 2022 World Cup.” Goalkeeper Mat Ryan says in the video: “There are universal values that should define football – values such as respect, dignity, trust and courage. When we represent our nation, we strive to embody these values.” “As PFA members we understand the power of collective bargaining and the fundamental rights of all workers to form and join a union,” added Danny Vukovic.
Football Australia said the video follows nearly two years of consultations between the Socceroos, the players’ union and Football Australia with a number of global organizations, including Amnesty International, the world governing body of sport and FIFPRO, the global players’ association.
The ruling emir of Qatar this week lashed out at his country over its preparations to host the football tournament, describing it as an “unprecedented campaign” targeting the first Arab nation to host the tournament.
Qatar has repeatedly pushed back and urged the country to improve protections for migrant workers, claiming the criticisms are outdated.
In a televised address Tuesday, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said Qatar “has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign that no host country has ever experienced”. “The campaign tends to go on and on with fabrications and double standards that were so cruel that unfortunately it has led many people to question the real reasons and motives,” he said.
Last month, eight of the 13 European teams that qualified for the tournament said their captains will wear a heart-shaped, multi-coloured bracelet when playing matches to support the ‘One Love’ campaign against discrimination.
The gesture is a clear violation of FIFA rules. It also reflects the unease at home about taking the biggest football event to Qatar, where homosexual acts are illegal. Qatar says LGTBQ fans will not be arrested.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)