Qatar World Cup organizers dispute claims of human rights abuses by Danish equipment manufacturer



CNN

Qatar World Cup organizers have disputed claims by Danish kit manufacturer Hummel of human rights abuses in the host country after the country unveiled the Danish kits it will wear at this year’s tournament.

On Wednesday, Hummel revealed the “toned” kits Denmark will wear at the men’s World Cup. Hummel says the subtle uniform message is a response to alleged human rights abuses in Qatar.

The manufacturer presented three kits: a completely red, white and black shirt representing the “color of mourning”. The company says the appearance is a protest: “We don’t want to be visible in a tournament where thousands of people have lost their lives,” according to a post on Hummel’s Instagram.

The Guardian reported last year that 6,500 migrant workers had died in the country in the 10 years since Qatar hosted the tournament in 2010, most of them working in dangerous, low-paid jobs, often in extreme heat.

The report – which tournament organizers “categorically” denied – did not link all 6,500 deaths to World Cup infrastructure projects and has not been independently verified by CNN.

Tournament organizers disputed Hummel’s claims on Wednesday and said they had a “robust and transparent dialogue” with the Danish Football Association (DBU).

“We wholeheartedly reject the splitting of our genuine commitment to protecting the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects,” organizers said in a statement. “This commitment is now extended to 150,000 employees in the various services of the tournament and 40,000 employees in the hospitality sector.”

CNN has reached out to FIFA for comment.

Asked in May whether FIFA would compromise with the families of those killed in preparations for the tournament, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the organization was investigating “all these matters” and that only three people had died.

Qatar has been criticized for its treatment of migrant workers and the country’s anti-homosexuality laws. In May, Lise Klaveness, president of the Norwegian Football Federation, called the decision to name Qatar as the host country “unacceptable”.

Amnesty International has sent an open letter signed by other human rights organizations to Infantino, asking soccer’s international governing body to allocate at least $440 million in compensation to migrant workers.

Players taking part in the tournament, including England captain Harry Kane, spoke out against the country.

The 2022 World Cup will begin on November 20 and run until December 18 in the Gulf country. Denmark’s first match is scheduled for November 22 against Tunisia.