PARIS: Denmark on Sunday joined Norway and other European national teams in a growing movement protesting against the treatment of migrant workers involved in building venues for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Danish players wore jerseys with the slogan “Football supports CHANGE” as they lined up for a photograph before their World Cup qualifier against Moldova, with the Danish Football Union saying the shirts would be put up for sale and the money given to migrant workers in the Gulf state.
Players from Germany and the Netherlands have also protested in recent days as the European qualifying campaign begins for the 2022 tournament, the hosting of which was controversially awarded a decade ago to Qatar.
Norway players, including superstar striker Erling Braut Haaland, donned t-shirts with the slogan ‘Human rights, on and off the pitch’ prior to their game in Gibraltar on Wednesday.
Germany players then undertook a similar action before taking on Iceland the next day, lining up in T-shirts which spelled the message ‘Human Rights’. “We have the World Cup coming up and there will be discussions about it... we wanted to show we are not ignoring that,” said Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka. The Dutch team joined in prior to kick-off in their game against Latvia in Amsterdam on Saturday and the movement raises the question of whether players, or national federations, would be prepared to actually boycott the World Cup. Several Norwegian clubs had already spoken out in favour of a boycott before their national team’s action.
The Norwegian Football Federation is expected to debate the issue at a special congress in June. “It is 10 years too late for a boycott. We should have thought about that at the time” the World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010, admitted Bayern and Germany midfielder Joshua Kimmich.