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FA lags behind in ‘pledge’ on Qatari stadium workers’ rights, says Amnesty International

FA lags behind its counterparts in ‘pledging’ on Qatari stadium workers’ rights ahead of the 2022 World Cup, claims Amnesty International … urging them to ‘take their responsibilities seriously’ after England qualify for the controversial tournament

  • The FA signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with Qatar three years ago
  • England manager Gareth Southgate said the team wanted to understand the issues
  • But there has been no request for a meeting with Amnesty International.
  • Denmark is far ahead in an attempt to highlight Qatar’s human rights issues


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Amnesty International has said that the FA has been less ‘committed’ to the plight of Qatari stadium workers than other countries and has urged them to ‘take their responsibilities seriously’ now that they have reached the World Cup in Qatar. 2022.

The FA, which signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with Qatar in 2018, has not made any meaningful comment on human rights since the team qualified last Monday.

Despite England coach Gareth Southgate claiming that the team wanted to understand the issues, a meeting with Amnesty has not been requested, who last discussed the issue with the FA in Qatar in March 2020.

The FA has been less 'committed' to the plight of Qatar's stadium workers than other countries, Amnesty International insists

The FA has been less ‘committed’ to the plight of Qatar’s stadium workers than other countries, Amnesty International insists

The FA signed a 'memorandum of understanding' with Qatar in 2018 (pictured: FA Executive Director Mark Bullingham)

The FA signed a 'memorandum of understanding' with Qatar in 2018 (pictured: FA Executive Director Mark Bullingham)

The FA signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with Qatar in 2018 (pictured: FA Executive Director Mark Bullingham)

May Romanos, Amnesty International’s Gulf Researcher on Migrants’ Rights, said the BBC Sports Desk podcast: ‘We had a meeting with the English Football Association in March last year, where we started the conversation about the role they could play in the run-up to this World Cup. But we have not had any additional commitment to them, unlike other AFs.

‘Maybe their mentality was that they are not qualified, so we are not part of this. But maybe now they have, maybe their position will change. We urge them to take their responsibilities seriously and will be delighted to carry them forward with them. ‘

Denmark, who have also qualified, is far ahead of England in trying to highlight human rights issues in the Gulf state.

Denmark is far ahead in its attempt to highlight Qatar's human rights issues

Denmark is far ahead in its attempt to highlight Qatar's human rights issues

Denmark is far ahead in its attempt to highlight Qatar’s human rights issues

Chief Executive Officer Jacob Jensen said his sponsors would not conduct any commercial activity in Qatar and their names would not appear on the team’s training jersey. Instead, the Danes will carry human rights messages when they train at the tournament.

Jensen said: ‘We will be in dialogue with our sponsors, to see if we can find some kind of statement with them, on human rights, that is sufficient. We will consult Amnesty International on this.

‘We have a dialogue with our fans right now. We are saying that it is the choice of each fan if they want to go [to Qatar] or not. We want the reforms in Qatar to be even faster than they are now. ‘

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