Australia has released a collective statement condemning Qatar’s human rights record. This is the first 2022 World Cup team that has done so.
This video criticises World Cup hosts’ treatment for migrant workers, and LGBTQ+ people.
Football Australia released a statement stating that the “suffering” suffered by workers and their families by the tournament “cannot been ignored”.
Australia will be playing in the tournament in Qatar which begins on November 20th.
The 16-player ‘effective remedy’ for migrant workers is called for as well as the decriminalization of same-sex relationships.
The video features 16 Australia players, including captain Mat Ryan, Sunderland’s defender Bailey Wright, Hearts’ Kye Rowles, and Alex Wilkinson. Alex Wilkinson is the president of Professional Footballers Australia, who represented the Socceroos last year in 2015.
The players stated that it is difficult to address these issues and they don’t have all the answers.
“We stand alongside FIFPro, Building and Wood Workers International and the International Trade Union Confederation in seeking to embed reforms and leave a lasting legacy for Qatar.”
These are the fundamental rights that must be granted to everyone and will ensure Qatar’s continued progress and a legacy that lasts well past the end of the 2022 Fifa World Cup. ”
The players acknowledged that some reforms had been made, such as the abolishment of the kafala system – which allowed employers to seize workers’ passports and prevent them from leaving the country – but they said that these were not consistent and did not go far enough.
“Everyone should feel secure”
Football Australia’s statement also refers to Qatar’s laws regarding LGBTQ+ relationships. The death penalty for homosexuality in the Gulf State is possible. James Cleverly, the UK foreign secretary, said that gay supporters attending the tournament must show “flexibility and compromise”.
Adelaide United Defender Joshua Cavallo is the only male top-flight soccer player to come out as gay. He has a cap for Australia’s Under-20s.
The statement stated that is “the most diverse, inclusive, and multicultural sport in the country.”
“While we appreciate the highest level of assurances made by HH Amir Qatar and President Fifa that LGBTI+ supporters will be safe welcomed in Qatar, it is our hope that this openness can last beyond the tournament. ”
Peter Tatchell, a British LGBT rights activist, was prevented from protesting in Doha Tuesday. He said that “Australian football players are leading the charge.” Their support for the human rights LGBT+ persons and migrants is admirable. They set the standard. I hope every other national team follows their example and that every team captain will dedicate 30 seconds to every post-match conference to affirm their support for LGBTs, women, and migrant workers. ”
This is one of the most prominent demonstrations of criticism by any team playing at the World Cup. The decision to hold the tournament here in Qatar has been heavily criticised ever since Fifa announced it in 2010.
Human Rights groups have expressed concern about Qatar’s treatment of foreign workers and the deaths.
The Guardian reported that 6,500 migrants from India, Pakistan and Nepal had been killed in Qatar since the country won its World Cup bid.
This number is based upon figures provided by countries’ embassies at Qatar.
The Qatar government claimed that the total was misleading because not all deaths were due to people who worked on World Cup-related projects.
According to the government, its accident records show that there were 37 deaths in construction workers at World Cup stadiums between 2014 and 2020. Only three were work-related.
Australia is in Group D with world champions France, Denmark and Tunisia.
Group opponents Denmark also protested against the abuses in the middle east state by wearing a toned down’ jersey to the World Cup.
To protest Qatar’s laws regarding same-sex relationships, players from nine European countries including England will wear ‘One Love ‘armbands.