World Cup 2022: Fifa tells all competing nations to ‘focus on football’ in Qatar

Norway wears opposing shirts at the World Cup in Qatar
Norway’s players, including Erling Haaland (left), wore shirts last year saying “human rights on and off the pitch” to protest the World Cup in Qatar. Norway has not qualified for this tournament.

Fifa has written to all 32 teams competing at the World Cup telling them to “now focus on football” after the growing controversy.

Host Qatar has been criticized for its stance on same-sex relationships, its human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers.

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The competition starts on November 20.

The letter urges that football should not be “drawn” into ideological or political battles and should not “give moral lessons”.

Peaceful protests are planned by other players.

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England’s Harry Kane and nine other European club managers will be wearing it ‘One Love’ wristbands.

Denmark will wear “toned-down” shirts. to protest against Qatar, while equipment supplier Hummel said it “doesn’t want to be seen” in a competition it says has “killed thousands of people”.

The Australian team has released a video urging Qatar to end its laws on same-sex relationships.

Paris, and other French cities, refuse to show sports in public places, even though France is the defending champion.

The letter, signed by Fifa president Gianni Infantino and secretary general Fatma Samoura, and seen by the BBC, reads: “We know that football does not live in one place, and we know that there are many political challenges and problems around the world.

“But please don’t let football get dragged into every ideological or political battle there is.

It adds: “Fifa, we try to respect all opinions and beliefs, without giving moral education to the whole world. There is no people or culture or society that is “better” than any other. mutual respect and non-discrimination.

“And this is one of the fundamental values ​​of football. So, please, let’s remember all that and let football take center stage.

“We have a unique event and opportunity to welcome and accept everyone, regardless of where they come from, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality.”

MPs call on Southgate and Kane to act on Iran

England have been asked to consider a “show or act of solidarity with Iranian women who are fighting for their civil liberties” when the two countries meet in their World Cup opener on November 21.

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrats’ foreign affairs spokeswoman, wrote to manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane telling them the move would be “of great importance in raising awareness of the reprehensible actions of the Iranian government”.

In a letter also signed by the Lib Dems’ sports spokesman Jamie Stone and seen by the BBC, he said that such an action could also “reveal those who put their lives on the line to protest, it would be very important”.

Protests and riots in Iran they are clear of death on September 16 Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who collapsed after being arrested by morality police in Tehran for violating Iran’s strict laws requiring women to cover their hair hijab, or headscarf.

There were reports that the officers hit him on the head with a baton. Police said he suffered a heart attack.

Iranian football and sports people and the human rights group Playgrounds Open they once asked Fifa to ban Iran’s national team.

The BBC has contacted the Football Association for comment.

We try to help as much as we can – Henderson

Speaking this week, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said it was “unfair” to expect players to make political statements or protest at the tournament.

England midfielder Jordan Henderson said on BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast: “There’s a lot of pressure on the players. Should the World Cup be played here?’ and everything that goes with that, but the players do not decide where the World Cup is played.

“Fifa decides that and that’s a question they have to answer. For us as players we just play football and we try to have a voice in some ways to help as much as we can. “

He added: “We’re doing little things like that to try to show people that we’re all one, we’re all in this together, that’s what the campaign is for. [Kane’s armband] brought to light.

“If you do the right things, that’s the most important thing. Unless everyone is going to come, no matter what people say, it’s never going to be enough.”

England’s Beth Mead said Thursday that it was “disappointing” the tournament is being held in Qatar. Mead, who is openly gay, does not think the Gulf state is the “right place” for the tournament to be played.

A controversial construction

Other off-field issues include Russia being banned by Fifa after the invasion of Ukraine. Moreover, the Ukraine’s FA has called for Iran to be banned from the World Cup for “human rights violations”. It believes that banning domestic protests “may violate the principles and norms” of Fifa.

The World Cup has been moved to the northern hemisphere for the first time in its 92-year history. Qatar initially proposed hosting the games in the summer in indoor stadiums, but that plan fell through. rejected.

Qatar World Cup organizers say “everyone is welcome” to travel to the country to watch football, and that no one will be discriminated against.

A short gray line

Read more about Qatar World Cup 2022

A short gray line

Seven new stadiums have been built for the event, along with an airport, roads and about 100 hotels. The Qatari government says 30,000 foreign workers have been hired just to build the stadiums, while most of they are from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and the Philippines.

Human rights groups have complained about the treatment of foreign workers in Qatar, and the death toll there.

In January 2021, the Guardian reported that 6,500 workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had died in Qatar since it won its World Cup bid in 2010.

The number is based on figures provided by the embassy in Qatar.

However, the Qatari government has said that the totals are misleading, because not all of the reported deaths were from people working on World Cup-related projects.

The government said its accident reports showed that between 2014 and 2020, there were 37 deaths among workers at World Cup stadium construction sites, only three of which were “related to job”.

BBC Arabic has gathered evidence showing that the Qatari government has a record low death rate among foreign workers.

The Football Association of England has backed calls for compensation for “any injury or death in connection with any construction project” for the World Cup.

Yasmine Ahmed, UK director of Human Rights Watch, called Fifa’s letter “nothing short of outrageous”, while Amnesty International’s Felix Jakens told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It is not yet the right time to speak on human rights issues in Qatar until then. see [Fifa] they are affected.

“Now is the time to apply pressure on these issues. Once the World Cup is out of town, will we still be having discussions about Qatar? I don’t think we are.”

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