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Denmark to Wear Jerseys That Protest Host Qatar at FIFA World Cup 2022

By: Sports Desk

Edited By: Ritayan Basu

News18.com

Last Updated: September 29, 2022, 08:51 IST

Geneva, Switzerland

Denmark's jerseys for Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup (Twitter)

Denmark's jerseys for Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup (Twitter)

Denmark will wear a "toned down" kit, produced by sportswear maker Hummel, at the 2022 World Cup in protest at Qatar's human rights record-setting off a furious response from the Gulf state

Denmark will wear team jerseys at the World Cup that protest the human rights record of host nation Qatar, with a black option unveiled Wednesday to honour migrant workers who died during construction work for the tournament.

“The colour of mourning,” kit manufacturer Hummel said in a post on Instagram releasing the black third-choice design.

“While we support the Danish national team all the way, this shouldn’t be confused with support for a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives,” the company said.

The designs seem to complete a promise made by the Danish football federation last November to wear clothing with “critical messages” at the tournament in Qatar.

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Though FIFA’s World Cup rules prohibit political statements on the team uniforms, the three Denmark shirt designs in all-red, all-white and all-black appear to comply with no words or symbols that are an explicit statement. The national team badge, Hummel logo and decorative white chevrons, a famous feature of the Denmark shirt since the 1980s, are faded into the same single colour as the shirt.

“We don’t wish to be visible during (the) tournament,” Hummel said. “We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn’t the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation.”

Denmark, the world’s No. 10-ranked team which reached the European Championship semifinals last year, has been one of the 32 World Cup teams most likely to take a strong stance against Qatar.

The Danish federation also joined a European campaign launched last week for captains to wear heart-shaped, multi-coloured “One Love” armbands in World Cup games.

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The gas-rich emirate has been fiercely criticized in the past decade for its treatment of migrant workers mostly from south Asia needed to build tens of billions of dollars’ worth of stadiums, metro lines, roads and hotels.

Qatar’s World Cup organisers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, gave a stern response that highlighted “significant reforms to the labour system" to protect workers and “ensuring improved living conditions for them."

The committee added that there has been “robust and transparent dialogue" with the Danish federation, the DBU, that had led to “a better understanding of the progress made".

“We dispute Hummel’s claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives. Furthermore, we whole-heartedly reject the trivialising (of) our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects."

Qatar says that only three labourers died in work-related accidents during the construction of the eight stadiums in the Doha region. It has been accused of under reporting deaths on wider construction however.

The committee said Qatar’s reforms had been “recognised" by some international human rights groups “as a model that has accelerated progress and improved lives".

“Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey," said the statement.

“We urge the DBU to accurately convey the outcome of their extensive communication and work with the Supreme Committee, and to ensure that this is accurately communicated to their partners at Hummel."

Danish officials have taken a leading role in a group of European football federations visiting Qatar to monitor the progress of promised reforms in labour laws.

Denmark has been drawn in a World Cup group with defending champion France, which typically wears a dark blue shirt, Australia, whose first-choice color is gold, and Tunisia, which wears white.

The FIFA match schedule for the tournament lists Denmark as the home team with first choice of color only for its opening game on Nov. 22 against Tunisia.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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first published:September 28, 2022, 21:53 IST
last updated:September 29, 2022, 08:51 IST