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2022 World Cup: Denmark to wear messages in support of human rights at tournament in Qatar

Denmark qualified for the 2022 World Cup by topping their qualifying group; tournament will be held in Qatar next winter; host nation has been accused by Amnesty of failing to implement its own laws aimed at improving conditions for migrant workers

Denmark's players celebrates their side's hird goal, scored by Christian Norgaard, during the World Cup 2022, group F qualifying soccer match between Moldova and Denmark, at the Zimbru stadium in Chisinau, Moldova, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Aurel Obreja)
Image: Denmark will be one of 32 teams at the Qatar World Cup next year

Denmark will wear messages in support of human rights on their training kit during the World Cup in Qatar next year.

The move comes amid continued criticism of FIFA's decision to award hosting rights to Qatar, which was accused by Amnesty this month of failing to implement its own laws aimed at improving conditions for migrant workers.

The Danish FA (DBU) says it will also limit the number of trips to Qatar by staff and players ahead of the tournament, which begins in November 2022.

Jacob Jensen, the DBU's managing director, said: "DBU has long been strongly critical of the World Cup in Qatar, but now we are intensifying our efforts and critical dialogue further, so that we take advantage of the fact that we are qualified to work for more change in the country."

The DBU added it would continuously conduct due diligence on its choice of hotel and other services in Qatar to ensure workers' rights are respected.

Denmark - who reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals this summer - qualified for the World Cup after topping European qualification Group F.

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Highlights of the World Cup qualifying Group F match between Scotland and Denmark on Monday

The DBU's announcement follows comments last week from Conor Coady, the England defender, who said he and his team-mates would have a conversation about how to highlight issues in Qatar once they had qualified for the World Cup - which they confirmed with a 10-0 rout of San Marino on Monday.

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Qatar's treatment of migrant workers has been in the spotlight since the country was awarded the right to host the 2022 finals back in 2010.

Legislation has been passed to tackle the 'kafala' system, which binds foreign workers to their employers, restricts their ability to change jobs and prevents many from leaving the country without their employers' permission.

However, Amnesty's newly-released 'Qatar Reality Check 2021' report has found it is "business as usual" in many respects.

By law, most migrant workers no longer need a 'no objection certificate' (NOC) from an employer allowing them to leave the country or change jobs without the employer's consent.

However, Amnesty said in practice a 'de facto' NOC process has emerged, making it difficult or in some cases impossible for a migrant worker to sever ties with an employer.

Kick It Out to put spotlight on Qatar 2022's LGBTQ+ inclusion

Kick it Out has announced the formation of a Qatar 2022 working group, a coalition of UK organisations which includes Stonewall, the Football Supporters' Association (FSA), Football v Homophobia and Sports Media LGBT+, which will look at some of the key issues surrounding Qatar 2022, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Qatar criminalises homosexuality, and Kick It Out says there is a "risk" for LGBTQ+ fans and players who may wish to travel to the Gulf state for the tournament.

Chris Paouros, the chair of the working group, said: "Kick it Out is committed to supporting football in becoming a game where everyone belongs.

"Holding the world's biggest sporting and football event in a country where LGBTQ+ people are criminalised is a challenging concept for us both as a football charity and as an organisation which has built a reputation around fighting for inclusion.

"Alongside the other inspirational organisations in the newly formed Qatar 2022 Working Group, we hope to drive inclusion and security for fans at next year's tournament, as well as creating a lasting impact for the rights of LGBTQ+ people in Qatar, and on the decision-making process for future tournaments."

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