Qatar World Cup: Felix Sanchez Bas silent on not taking a knee and human rights after Republic of Ireland draw

Players from Norway, Germany and the Netherlands protested over the international break against concerns over the number of deaths to Qatar World Cup construction workers; Ireland drew with Qatar following defeats to Luxembourg and Spain

Qatar's players chose to stand instead of take a knee prior to their friendly against the Republic of Ireland
Image: Qatar's players chose to stand instead of taking a knee prior to their friendly against the Republic of Ireland

Qatar boss Felix Sanchez Bas declined to comment on his players not taking a knee after their 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday evening.

The Spaniard was asked about the move, and the country's human rights record ahead of next year's World Cup finals, at his post-match press conference following the game in Debrecen, Hungary.

However, the Qatari press officer stepped in and said: "Let me answer this.

"First there was an agreement between us and the Irish FA, and regarding the human rights, we respect that and the International Labour Organisation are aware of the progress in our country. Thank you."

When it was asked if the coach could answer, Sanchez Bas replied: "I repeat the same answer my colleague said.

Qatar Ireland Highlights 3:05
Highlights of the friendly between Qatar and Republic of Ireland

"Also, I have to tell you I am a national team coach and I am here in a press conference from one football game and that's what I am going to talk about because that's why I am here."

Players from Germany, Norway and the Netherlands have staged their own protests in recent days amid mounting concern over the death of migrant workers involved in the construction of infrastructure ahead of the finals.

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Felix Sanchez Bas did not comment on Qatar's decision not to take a knee prior to their game against the Republic of Ireland
Image: Felix Sanchez Bas did not comment on Qatar's decision not to take a knee prior to their game against the Republic of Ireland

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Ireland boss Stephen Kenny said: "There is a clear issue with human rights in the building of stadiums in Qatar and the number of people who have died. You can't sweep that under the carpet, it can't be ignored."

James McClean's early goal was later cancelled out by Mohammed Muntari's second-half strike in Hungary, as Ireland concluded a disappointing international break, following defeats in 2022 World Cup qualifying against Serbia and Luxembourg.

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