Qatar World Cup: Amnesty hopeful England players will join Qatar labour reform protests

Amnesty International are hopeful England players will join the growing protests urging Qatar to consider labour reforms ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

Players from Germany, the Netherlands and Norway have already raised the issue at a number of World Cup qualifiers and there is an increasing focus on Gareth Southgate’s side to follow suit.

“England players will obviously be guided by their own consciences, but if they end up following the lead of German, Dutch and Norwegian players, we’d be extremely pleased to see that,” said Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK.

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“Harry Kane and the England squad can read the numerous media reports about exploited migrant workers in Qatar and quickly see there’s a very serious problem.

“It’s really important that FIFA, the FA, and individual teams and players use their influence to keep pressing the Qatari authorities to follow through on promised labour reforms.

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“Football likes to see itself as a force for good in the world, and with Qatar 2022, there’s a real chance for elite football to make its mark.

“Without the two million migrants who’ve been building the stadiums, the roads and the wider infrastructure, Qatar simply wouldn’t be staging this World Cup and we need to see a legacy of genuine, durable labour reforms when it’s all over.”

Germany, Norway, Netherlands protest over human rights concerns

As Amnesty International have pointed out, players from Germany, Norway and the Netherlands have recently voiced their concerns over human rights in Qatar ahead of their World Cup qualifying games.

A study, released by The Guardian last month, reported at least 6,500 migrant workers have died since Qatar was named as the chosen 2022 World Cup host a decade ago.

Ahead of Saturday’s World Cup Group G Qualifier against Latvia, Dutch players wore T-shirts emblazoned with the words ‘Football Supports Change’.

It follows Norway and Germany players making similar stands in their own World Cup qualifying matches on Wednesday and Thursday last week.

Southgate: FA, Amnesty International remain in talks

England manager Gareth Southgate says talks between the FA and Amnesty International are ongoing after the organisation wrote to England’s governing body last year urging them to put pressure on FIFA over the situation.

“In terms of the situation in Qatar, the FA are working closely with Amnesty International and will be talking with Qatar as well,” Southgate said.

“My understanding is Amnesty don’t want the tournament postponed or moved. They want to work and highlight issues that could be improved.

“So, it’s important we work with organisations like that.”

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