England and Wales join eight other European countries in pushing FIFA to hold Qatar to promises on human rights and treatment of migrant workers ahead of the World Cup… with letter coming days after they were told to ‘focus on the football’
- English and Welsh Football Associations among 10 who signed letter to FIFA
- They want governing body to keep pushing Qatar to uphold its promises
- Qatar has been strongly criticised for human rights record ahead of World Cup
- Treatment of migrant workers has also come under the spotlight after deaths
The English and Welsh Football Associations have joined eight others in vowing to use the upcoming World Cup in Qatar to keep advocating for human rights and for migrant workers to be supported.
In a joint letter published on Sunday the 10 national governing bodies, all members of the UEFA working group on human and labour rights, said they would continue to push FIFA to uphold promises made in relation to the World Cup which begins in two weeks’ time.
It comes after it was reported earlier this week that FIFA had written to nations participating in the World Cup urging them to ‘focus on the football’ amid the ongoing debate over Qatar’s human rights record and the treatment of migrant workers who have helped build the tournament infrastructure.
The letter from the 10 European associations acknowledges that ‘significant progress has been made by Qatar’ in respect of the rights of migrant workers and that assurances have been made on the ‘safety, security and inclusion of all fans who travel to the World Cup, including LGBTQ+ fans’.
The World Cup gets underway in Qatar on November 20 with the country under the spotlight
Qatar has been slammed for its human rights record and the conditions in which thousands of migrant workers have been subjected to as they build the tournament’s infrastructure
But it adds: ‘Embracing diversity and tolerance also means supporting human rights. Human rights are universal and they apply everywhere.
‘We will continue to support the momentum for positive, progressive change and continue to advocate for a conclusive outcome and update on the two key outstanding issues we have been discussing with FIFA for a long time.
‘FIFA has repeatedly committed to deliver concrete answers on these issues – the compensation fund for migrant workers, and the concept of a migrant workers centre to be created in Doha – and we will continue to press for these to be delivered.
There has been criticism of Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers building World Cup stadia
‘We believe in the power of football to make further positive and credible contributions to progressive sustainable change in the world.’
The letter was signed by FA chief executive Mark Bullingham and Welsh FA boss Noel Mooney, along with their counterparts from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.
On Friday, Sky Sports reported that FIFA president Gianni Infantino and secretary general Fatma Samoura wrote to all 32 participating nations, urging them: ‘Please, let’s now focus on the football!
‘We know football does not live in a vacuum and we are equally aware that there are many challenges and difficulties of a political nature all around the world.
‘But please do not allow football to be dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists.’