Denmark becomes latest team to focus attention on Qatar


HERNING, Denmark — Denmark became the latest European soccer team Sunday using World Cup qualifying games to direct attention to workers’ rights in Qatar, which hosts the 2022 tournament.

Denmark players wore red T-shirts with the slogan “Football supports change” for the customary team photo before kicking off against Moldova.

The Danish soccer federation said the shirts will be signed and auctioned to raise money for projects with Amnesty International that help migrant workers in Qatar.

Denmark follows the Netherlands team on Saturday, and Norway and Germany days earlier, in drawing attention to human rights issues in Qatar. The Norwegian national team made a point about rights again ahead of its game against Turkey in Malaga on Saturday.

Since winning the World Cup hosting vote in 2010, Qatar has faced scrutiny for living and working conditions of migrant workers helping to build stadiums, transport and other construction projects ahead of the tournament. It starts in November next year.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino defended Qatar this month saying that becoming the World Cup host had accelerated social progress in the emirate.

Though FIFA’s disciplinary code states players and federations can face disciplinary action in cases of “using a sports event for demonstrations of a non-sporting nature,” it said after the first Norway protest that no investigation would be opened.

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